Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Review: Just One Kiss by Susan Mallery

  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Harlequin HQN (May 28 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0373777604
  • ISBN-13: 978-0373777600

Book Description

 He won't hesitate to put his life on the line...but will he ever risk his heart?

Falling for her best friend Justice Garrett was a high point in Patience McGraw's otherwise awkward adolescence. Even after he disappeared, Patience never forgot the boy who captured her heart. Now he's back in Fool's Gold, California, and her passion for him is as strong as ever. But how can she trust that he won't abandon her again-and her daughter, too?

When bodyguard Justice Garrett was a young man, witness protection brought him to this idyllic town and he never forgot its warmth, or the sweet beauty of his childhood friend. He's returned to open an elite defense academy, and the Patience he once knew is all grown up. He can't resist her smile, or her curves. But Justice's past doesn't make him husband, or father, material.

Patience and Justice think they'll succumb to just one kiss.... Then one more... Okay, just one night together. But they might learn that falling in love is beyond anyone's control.

About The Author

 New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery has entertained millions of readers with her witty and emotional stories about women. Publishers Weekly calls Susan’s prose “luscious and provocative,” and Booklist says “Novels don’t get much better than Mallery’s expert blend of emotional nuance, humor and superb storytelling.” Susan lives in Seattle with her husband and her tiny but intrepid toy poodle. Visit her at www.SusanMallery.com.

My Review

Fool's Gold is always a great place to escape to.  Everyone is happy.  Love always conquers everything.  Justice is always served.

Bodyguard Justice Garrett is returning to Fool's Gold to set up a new business.  He had lived there as a child when he was in the witness protection program.  And he never forgot this wonderful place.  And the girl he adored...Patience.

Both now adults, they are drawn to one another once again.  And you now in Fool's Gold, true love always prevails.

If you enjoy a well written romance then this series is for you.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Review: Lucky Bastard (Lucky O'Toole Las Vegas Adventures) by Deborah Coonts

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Forge Books; 1 edition (May 14 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765335468
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765335463

Book Description

Lucky O’Toole may have been promoted to Vice President of Customer Relations for the Babylon, Las Vegas’ primo Strip property, but nothing has changed. When Paxton Dane, a former member of the Babylon’s Security detail turned Private Investigator, discovers a young woman dead, sprawled across the hood of a new, bright red Ferrari California in the Babylon’s dealership, a Jimmy Choo stiletto stuck in her carotid, he calls Lucky to handle the problem.

Lucky’s life is already in precarious balance. Her mother, Mona, is pregnant, hormonal, bored, and looking for ways to fill her days. Teddie, Lucky’s former lover, has hit the road on his quest to find international stardom. But, realizing he’s made a mistake, he writes a song for Lucky, then hits the talk shows, pleading his case. Lucky is less than amused with the national spotlight on her personal life. She’s having enough trouble as it is fending off the amorous attentions of Chef Jean-Charles Bouclet, the Babylon’s tasty new dish. Lucky feels mixing business and pleasure with the chef is a sure-fire recipe for disaster.

And the timing couldn’t be worse. The Smack-Down Poker tournament with all the media attention the second-largest poker tournament in the world attracts is holding it’s final table at the Babylon. Hookers, thieves, players, cheaters, media, and hangers-on all descend looking to win or to score.

When one of the major players turns up dead, Lucky starts putting the pieces together with the help of Cole Weston, a hearing-impaired professional poker player. They chase clues and suspects through Vegas to the storm drains underneath the city—where the runoff from a summer monsoonal shower turns deadly.

After a revelation by someone close to her sends her world reeling even further, Lucky struggles to keep her life in balance, and a murderer from killing again as bodies pile up.

Then, just when she’s losing control… life deals another major complication to her personal life….and it’s not going to be pretty.

About the Author

From Deb's web site:

I am proof positive that sex sells…and persistence pays off. After fifteen years learning the craft of writing, I am now officially, an overnight success. And it’s been a long road to get here…

My mother tells me I was born in Texas a very long time ago, but I’m not so sure—my mother can’t be trusted. These things I do know: I was raised in Texas on barbeque, Mexican food and beer. I’ve lived in every time zone in the U.S.; the most memorable stint being the time spent in Las Vegas, where I currently reside and where family and friends tell me I can't get into too much trouble...silly people.

The only constant in my life (besides my family, who deserves hazardous duty pay for sticking with me) has been change (my mother is still waiting for me to grow up). Silly woman.

But all of this career ADD made me incredibly unemployable. Hence the whole writing thing.
Actually, I’ve known from a young age that somehow stories would be a large part of my life, but my path to telling lies for a living (okay, not lies per se, but variations of the truth, for sure) has been circuitous. If someone had just told me when I was a kid that I could actually be paid to daydream for a living, life would have been soooo much easier. But they didn’t. And I never saw a ‘daydreaming’ booth at all those Career Days I attended.

So, initially discouraged when unable to locate anyone willing to pay me to read books, go to the movies, or attend the theatre, and in need of providing for the best child in the world, my son Tyler, I spent years being someone else—an accountant (blech), a business owner (pretty fun), a lawyer (loved law school, hated practicing law), a pilot (giddy and terrifying at the same time). But through it all, I wrote. Along the way I wrote the world’s worst novel, a slightly more well-crafted but equally as poorly plotted novel, several non-fiction feature articles (my first sales!), multiple humor columns for a national magazine (more sales!), and, finally, the novel that sold, Wanna Get Lucky?, the first in a series to be published by Forge Books. The series is a Sex and the City meets Elmore Leonard in Vegas kind of thing, if you can imagine that. Okay, have several glasses of wine, then think about it…makes imagining easier. Anyway, the books are sexy, wry, romantic, and slightly naughty mixed with a little murder and mayhem—shaken, not stirred—then illuminated by the bright lights of Las Vegas—one of the truly magical cities in the world.

Many of my friends have asked me how in the world I came up with the Lucky series. The way they asked led me to believe they thought mind-altering substances might have been involved even though they knew the worst I do is a glass of fine Pinot-Noir. The answer to their question is actually very simple: let your fifteen-year-old male child pick where you live, follow his dream to Vegas, then keep your eyes open.

Hey, it worked for me!


My Review

 Always a delight to escape to the Las Vegas strip with Deb Coonts' Lucky. I've read the series since it launched and I enjoy each new edition immensely.  We just spent Christmas in Las Vegas at the Trump Hotel and I imagined that was where Lucky's apartment was. I love the insider view of Las Vegas that Deb Coonts provides in the Lucky series.

Set in the fictional Babylon hotel on the Las Vegas, this time in the midst of a poker tournament this is a great read, good mystery and fun escape! Already looking forward to the next one.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Review: The Carrion Birds by Urban Waite

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow (April 16, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062216880
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062216885

Book Description

Set in a small town in the Southwest, THE CARRION BIRDS is rife with vengeance and contrition—all while barreling toward an unavoidable finish. Life hasn’t worked out the way Ray Lamar planned. A widower who has made tragic mistakes, he’s got one good thing going for him: he’s calm, cool, and efficient under pressure, usually with a gun in his hand… a useful skill to have when you’re paid to stop people who stand in your boss’s way.

But Ray wants to move on with his life and head home to Coronado, New Mexico, to his twelve-year-old son, where he can make a new life far from his work of the last ten years. One last job will take him there. All he has to do is steal a rival’s stash—simple, easy, clean. But Ray knows there’s no such thing as easy, and sure enough, the first day ends in a catastrophic mess. Now the runners who have always moved quietly through this desert town on the Mexican border want answers—and revenge. Short on time and with no one to trust, Ray must come up with a plan or Coronado’s sheriff will have a bloodbath on her hands.

“A brutal and gorgeous novel full of characters stuck at life’s harshest intersections, The Carrion Birds is a relentlessly gripping story that digs into the all-too-real horrors of the drug war on Mexican-American border.”
   — Peter Mountford, author of A Young Man's Guide to Late Capitalism

“A scorching narrative of loss and love, drugs and violence, with deep moral complexity and palpable longing, I devoured this amazing novel in one feverish sitting, its indelible characters long smoldering in my imagination. Like the best of James M. Cain, Jim Thompson, or Cormac McCarthy, Urban Waite’s The Carrion Birds is that very rare book that manages to be effortlessly entertaining, thought provoking, and deeply moving. This is a book and an author I greatly admire.”
   — Alan Heathcock, author of Volt

“[A] searing western noir. Three people face terrifying moral choices as they each wish for what they can’t have: life as it was before their small border town . . . was doomed by its dying oil economy.”
   — Publishers Weekly (starred review)

About the Author

Urban Waite is the author of The Terror of Living, named one of Esquire's Ten Best Books of 2011. His short fiction has appeared in the Best of the West 2009 anthology, the Southern Review, and other journals. He has degrees from the University of Washington, Western Washington University, and Emerson College. He lives in Seattle with his wife.

My Review

 I discovered author Urban Waite with his debut novel The Terror of Living which is a compelling read.  The Carrion Birds is a dark journey to dying town.  Set is a dusty New Mexico border town that is losing its economic base - the oil industry.  What fills the gap of course is drug money.  Cartel drug money that brings its violence with it .  A good story filled with interesting characters and a vengeance filled plot. 

I recommend this contemporary thriller by Urban Waite.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Review; Six Years by Harlan Coben

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton Adult (Mar 19 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0525953485
  • ISBN-13: 978-0525953487

Book Description

Harlan Coben, the master of domestic suspense, returns with a standalone thrillerin the vein of #1 bestsellers Hold Tight, Caught, and Stay Closethat explores the depth and passion of a lost love . . . and the secrets and lies at its heart.

Six years have passed since Jake Sanders watched Natalie, the love of his life, marry another man. Six years of hiding a broken heart by throwing himself into his career as a college professor. Six years of keeping his promise to leave Natalie alone, and six years of tortured dreams of her life with her new husband, Todd.

But six years haven’t come close to extinguishing his feelings, and when Jake comes across Todd’s obituary, he can’t keep himself away from the funeral. There he gets the glimpse of Todd’s wife he’s hoping for . . . but she is not Natalie. Whoever the mourning widow is, she’s been married to Todd for more than a decade, and with that fact everything Jake thought he knew about the best time of his life—a time he has never gotten over—is turned completely inside out.

As Jake searches for the truth, his picture-perfect memories of Natalie begin to unravel. Mutual friends of the couple either can’t be found or don’t remember Jake. No one has seen Natalie in years. Jake’s search for the woman who broke his heart—and who lied to him—soon puts his very life at risk as it dawns on him that the man he has become may be based on carefully constructed fiction.

Harlan Coben once again delivers a shocking page-turner that deftly explores the power of past love and the secrets and lies that such love can hide.

"Riveting reading."
—Booklist (starred review)

"[Harlan Coben] delivers another amazing novel that will resonate with readers long after the final page is turned.The narrative is immersive, and the well-drawn characters and twisting plotting are stellar. With such a cool hook and a surprising and satisfying payoff, don’t wait six years to read what might be Coben’s best since Tell No One. "
—Library Journal (starred review)

"SIX YEARS is a mind blowing, brain twisting, knuckle biter where nothing is as it seems. Coben never fails to deliver on his promise to keep readers riveted to their seats until the final page. Whether you're a devoted fan of Coben or you've never read a single book of his, don't miss this page turner! You'll be come an instant fan."

"[Harlan Coben's] best book yet."
Suspense Magazine

"[Six Years] ranks among his strangest and most ingenious plots."
—Publishers Weekly

“Coben writes with wit and irony…his flair for exposing the frail balance point between order and chaos in our lives has never been stronger.”
—Publishers Weekly, Starred Review, on Stay Close

"[A tour de force stand-alone....Satisfying on every level."
Booklist (starred review)

“Rich and compelling...It takes a master like Coben to juggle a character study with shocking thriller elements and put readers on a vast emotional roller coaster ride.”
—Associated Press on Live Wire

“Edgar-winner Coben’s 10th Myron Bolitar novel is a perfect 10.”
Publishers Weekly on Live Wire

“Mr. Coben’s unique imagination has made him a past master of fast and witty dialogue, and architect of memorable characters. Live Wire follows that tradition with a meticulously plotted storyline. Gripping and full of genuine page-turning surprises.”
NY Journal of Books on Live Wire

About The Author

 Harlan Coben is the  internationally bestselling author of more than twenty previous novels, including the #1 New York Times bestsellers Stay Close, Live Wire, Caught, Long Lost, and Hold Tight, as well as the Myron Bolitar series and, more recently, a series aimed at young adults featuring Myron’s nephew, Mickey Bolitar. The winner of the Edgar, Shamus, and Anthony awards, Coben lives in New Jersey.

My Review
What a riveting story! I could not but this book down.  It is my favorite Harlan Coben so far.  If you like to be taken on a thrilling ride then Six Years is for you.

The twists are ingenious.  Mild mannered university professor Jake Sanders has never let the flame die for his true love Natalie.  Six years he has left her alone, not searched for her on the internet and tried to move on with his life.  This all changes when Natalie's husband dies and he discovers that he has been deceived.  

Preorder Six Years now!  You won't regret it!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Review: Spider Woman's Daughter by Anne Hillerman

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Harper (Oct 1 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062270486
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062270481

Product Description

Legendary tribal sleuths Leaphorn and Chee are back! The supremely talented daughter of New York Times bestselling mystery author Tony Hillerman continues the popular series with this fresh new Navajo Country mystery-her debut novel-filled with captivating lore, startling suspense, bold new characters, vivid color, and rich atmosphere

It happened in an instant: After a breakfast with colleagues, Navajo Nation Police Officer Bernadette Manualito saw a truck squeal into the parking lot and heard a crack of gunfire. When the dust cleared, someone very close to her was lying on the asphalt in a pool of blood.

With the victim in the hospital fighting for his life, every officer in the squad and the local FBI office are hellbent to catch the gunman. Bernie, too, wants in on the investigation, despite regulations strictly forbidding eyewitness involvement. Her superior may have ordered her to take some leave, but that doesn't mean she's going to sit idly by, especially when her husband, Sergeant Jim Chee, is put in charge of finding the shooter.

Pooling their skills, Bernie and Chee discover that a cold case involving his former boss and partner, retired Inspector Joe Leaphorn, may hold the key to the shooting. Digging into the old investigation with fresh eyes and a new urgency, husband and wife find themselves inching closer to the truth with every clue . . . and closer to a killer who will do anything to prevent justice from taking its course.

About the Author

 Anne Hillerman is an award-winning reporter, the author of several non-fiction books, and the daughter of New York Times bestselling mystery author Tony Hillerman. She lives in Santa Fe. This is her first novel.

My Review

My heart almost stopped when I heard that Anne Hillerman, Tony Hillerman's daughter, would be continuing the Joe Leaphorn/Jim Chee series that her father wrote so beautifully and with such amazing style that evoked the emotions and realities of the Navajo Nation.   Because of Tony Hillerman's books, whenever I visit the 4 corners region my heart and my soul is filled with the peacefulness, the vastness and the mysteries of such a stark yet beautiful landscape.

Spider Woman's Daughter is not out until October and I am so privileged to be given the honor to read it ahead of its release.  It was so wonderful to be back in Window Rock, Shiprock, and Chaco Canyon.  To be hanging out with Jim Chee and his wife Bernie Manuelito and of course Joe Leaphorn. To be driving down familiar roads. What a joy.  Anne Hillerman's story is told through Bernie.

Ghosts...ghosts from the past.  That is all I will say.  If you are a fan of the late great Tony Hillerman then you have to read this book.  If you haven't read this series yet, then read it.  It is one of the best.  One of my best stories that I like to tell people happened in Tuba City and involved discussing reading Tony Hillerman's books.  Maybe I'll tell it to you sometime. 

Thank you Anne Hillerman for continuing the series.  What a treat!