Friday, June 26, 2015

Wicked Charms by Janet Evanovich

I vacillated between 3 and 4 stars. Is definitely 3 1/2. Went higher because this is just a fun book. Is it deep literature? No. But that's not what fans of Janet Evanovich are looking for. If you are a fan of the Lizzy & Diesel series, this book is exactly like the others. If you haven't started reading Lizzy & Diesel, I wouldn't recommend starting with this book. There's a lot going on in the series and it's best to start at the beginning.
Wicked Charms (Lizzy & Diesel, #3)Lizzy and Diesel are on track to discover the third stone, Avarice (greed). I wish a little had been more to develop this theme and was also disappointed by the lack of Wulf. And I was really sad that one of the larger threats of the book never materialized. Throw in some pirates, appearances by Carl (the monkey) and Cat (the cat), a spell by Glo, and luscious descriptions of Lizzy's cupcakes and you've got a book that's a fun ride with a mostly satisfying end but still leaves you ready for the next book.

Also reviewed: Book #1 Wicked Appetite

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

In the Spinster's Bed by Sally MacKenzie

Tiny squees! Sally MacKenzie has a new series and, based on this novella, it is going to be as excellent as the "Naked [Title]" series.

In the Spinster's Bed (Spinster House, #0.5)The series revolves around a house known as the Spinster House, a place for unmarried, older women to stay. Current resident? Belle Frost - er- Franklin. At least that's the name she's been known by for 20 years. And no one knows otherwise until William Wattles (that's Lord William) stumbles across her in the local library. He's hiding out from the scandals caused by his wife (a hero with a wife? Scandalous!) and is shocked to find his first love in the remote village.
Ms. MacKenzie packs a lot into short story, something she's incredible at doing. If you like Sally Mackenzie's Naked series, you will definitely enjoy this book.

Followed by: What to do with a Duke

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Kiss Me by Susan Mallery

Kiss Me (Fool's Gold, #17)Wow. Wow, wow, wow. Definitely in the top of my favorite Mallery books of all time. More because of the B story but the A story was okay too.
Our first glimpse into the heroine's, Phoebe Kitzke, life comes in a courtroom as she is accused of messing with real estate papers. Very soon we find out that she's covering for her boss, the woman Phoebe thought would stand up and confess but didn't. So when her friend volunteers Phoebe to help out on a cattle ride, Phoebe figures, why the heck not? Plus, she just can't say "no."
Zane Nicholson's little brother has just gotten himself into a bundle of trouble, meaning that Zach has to bail him out. Again. It seems that the seventeen-year-old created a website saying that their family ranch would be offering a cattle drive. It seems his brother thought he could take the money from the customers, use it to make some quick money on the stock market and then just return the money saying that the trip was canceled. But he lost the money and now Zane's on the hook. So he's pissed. But he's generally pissed anyway so this is not new. And when his stepsister saddles him with an extra body? Not appreciative. At all. Even if Phoebe is awfully cute.
I mentioned the B plot as being my favorite part of the book. Yes, it was obvious what was going to happen. Yes, it was cheesy. You know what? I didn't care. It was great to get some characters who weren't in previous Fool's Gold books, people we'll probably never see again, who were well-developed and who grew, maybe even more than our h/h.
Why not five stars? Phoebe was a <i>wee</i> bit close to TSTL. I mean, really woman. Really. And Zane was a bit too he-man closed feelings. But. But! Very little shoehorning of previous Fool's Gold characters. It still happened, and was a little gratuitous, but short enough to be negligible.
Comes out June 30th.
Follows Hold Me
Followed by Thrill Me (post goes live July 14th)

Monday, June 15, 2015

The Saint on the Radio by Ian Dickerson

The Saint on the Radio by Ian DickersonGot this from NetGalley on a whim. I really enjoy the radio show and was shocked to read (from the blurb) that there were more Saints than just Vincent Price. Also shocking? How readable this book is. The author clearly did a lot of research for this book but states his shortcomings up front (though some of it is a little flippant...)
Combining the stories of Leslie Charteris (the original "Saint" author), many of the writers, and even the show itself, the writing flows smoothly.
I was disappointed at first that there weren't synopses of the episodes. But those come eventually... and start to get a bit tedious. But with two full scripts and lots of information, this is obviously a labor of love.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

The Cinderella Club -- anthology

The concept of this book was interesting to me and though I thought I could figure out the "twist," I hadn't read a good anthology in awhile and requested this one from NetGalley. It was okay. I know it's hard to build up a whole story with so few words and these authors did mostly okay. I was impressed that they managed to get at least a couple of scenes that crossed over into all four stories. Could have done with a little less beating about the head with how much the guys liked these gals (especially in the third story).

Cinderella Had it Easy  by Jennifer Conner
Cami is the one to set things off, showing off her grandmother's magical pendant, the one that helped win her the love of Cami's grandfather. The same story begins the broader arch for each of the main characters.
For Cami, she's quite shy because of the scars on her face, left there by a car accident when she was six. She's quite taken with the new host of the station where she works (which has history documenteries, is that even a a thing?). And he seems quite taken with her new body. Yes, wishing on the locket actually worked. And now Lance(lot!?!) seems quite interested in Cami. But can she trust that's it's going to last after the magic is gone?

Spellbound Cinderellaby Angela Ford
Tess is totally attracted to Parker Walsh, the famous world-traveling photographer. But other than once spilling her coffee on him, she doesn't believe that he could ever see her as anything special. I mean, the man probably dates the models that her firm employs. So when the Cinderella spell works and Parker invites Tess to a fundraising event, complete with new dress, Tess is initially ecstatic. But she's going to grab this 24 hours to enjoy for the rest of her life...

Second Chance Cinderella by Sharon Kleve
It's really interesting that this particular main character, Raven St. James,  is a phlebotomist. A person who draws blood for a living as the heroine? I would be very interested to read a full book about someone with this profession. Her particular crush is a doctor on her ward. Petite and black-haired (With jade eyes, no less), Raven is nothing like the tall, buxom, blonde nurses she sees on General Hospital. But the Cinderella spell give her the courage to wink at her crush. And he seems enchanted...

Cinderella's Enchanted Night by Amber Daulton
Wow. Annalise Gallagher's friends "joke" that she's a stalker. But sitting for an hour in the hot summer sun just to catch a glimpse of someone --- yeah, that's actually stalking. And creepy. She's an art framer working in the gallery across the street from her crush who is an art restorer/tour guide in a museum. Might have been a better story if it had been longer but this was not enough space for the story to be developed (or her creepiness to be offset.)

Thursday, June 11, 2015

The Art of Sinning by Sabrina Jeffries

The Art of Sinning by Sabrina JeffriesJeremy Keane is an artist looking for his lastest muse. And he thinks he's found her in the ravishing Lady Yvette Barlow. So they make an exchange. She'll pose for him if he'll show her some of the seedier sides of London. Of course, the more they learn about each other, they fall a little more in love.
But both have some back stories that make the road to true love less than smooth.
Sabrina Jeffries is a steady author and this book is no different. Interesting characters, a great story. It didn't need the last-minute twist.
I am interested in both the stories of Jeremy's sister, Mercedes, who is running the family business since Jeremy's not interested and Yvette's brother, the prefect alpha hero who hides his soft gooey center.
Coming out on July 21, 2015.
Followed by The Study of Seduction

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Only a Promise by Mary Balogh

The Duke's Disaster (True Gentlemen #.5)Chloe Muirhead is twenty-seven years old. At eighteen, her grandmother died and her debut into society was postponed. When she finally came out at twenty-one, her seventeen-year-old sister caused a scandal by running away with a married man. Her brother compounded the scandal by participating in a mockery of a duel. When the man's wife died and Chloe's sister married him, Chloe ventured out again. Only to be inundated by another shock of rumors when the daughter of the man who had courted Chloe's mother (only to marry another when he found out he was in need of funds) debuts and looks shockingly similar to Chloe. Rumors abound and the man who had publicly spurned her at twenty-one is one of the people rushing to spread rumors of her bastardy. Chloe decides to retire from society and asks her mother's godmother, a duchess, if she can perhaps become her companion. Instead, she is invited to their house as a guest, but she can't help but feel obliged.
Ralph meets Chloe when he visits his grandparents, the duke and duchess. He has felt massive amounts of guilt since he talked his three friends into going to war with him and they all died. Everyone except him, and even he was left with visible scars to remind him of what happened. Now, at twenty-six, he is being pressured to find a wife, since he is the last heir in the direct line. He is somewhat shocked when Chloe suggests they marry. She wants nothing except children and part of his reluctance in marrying is that he feels he has nothing to give.
Another lovely book in the Survivors' Club series and I can NOT wait for the next book and Imogen's story.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Resorting to Murder -- Anthology edited by Martin Edwards

Summer is (finally) arriving in Montana. And this book is a perfect accompaniment to sunny days and higher temps. As I sat outside my summer cocktail, I quite enjoyed many of the stories in this book. Most are from famous authors but feature stories not well known (Conan Doyle's "Devil's Foot") or lesser known works/detectives. While it was fun reading some stories about detectives I might not otherwise know, there were some stories that were lesser known for specific reasons (ahem, they aren't as good as the author's regular works.)
An interesting mix of Golden Age (and some others) authors makes this worth a read.