Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Quick List of Good Books Read

Disclaimer: I’ve read quite a few more books than this, generally 3-5 a week, but many are ultimately forgettable, so if I’ve remembered it long enough to post it here, it would definitely be worth the read-time (3-5 stars).

 

Lover Reborn by JR Ward

This was one of the more enjoyable BDB books. It was a nice blast from the past with some character updates. The story was necessarily slow, taking place over a year. I wanted to smack Tohr so many times for his harshness. No’One and Tohr both showed a great deal of character development, as did Xhex and John. I don’t really care much for Xhex but she had a great part in this series entry. I am very interested to see where JR Ward goes from here.

 

Shades of Grey trilogy by EL James

This was originally a fan fiction piece for Twilight, but it’s much more adult. It’s not a vampire story (darn, I love the vampire stories!) but it was nonetheless captivating (I read the trilogy in less than a week).

I was originally intrigued when my husband sent me a link to an article about the first book. Evidently this has polarized men and women due to the subject matter. DO NOT READ this series if you are faint of heart as it does deal with BDSM and has explicit sex (although I wouldn’t call it erotica, it has more sex than many books I’ve read). This is NOT a book for teenagers. I don’t normally read books with BDSM, but this was very well done. Ana and Christian, while not necessarily realistic characters, are well-drawn and the trilogy is about their journey as a couple, much more than the manner in which they play.

 

Drink Deep by Chloe Neill

The latest book in the Chicagoland Vampires delivers! It begins with the transition the House and Merit go through in the aftermath of the last book. Merit is caught in the middle of vampire politics, Mal is in the middle of her wizard exams and the other main character (the city of Chicago) has some serious problems (understatement of the year there)! The ending was VERY unexpected and you will be waiting for the next installment from the moment you finish the book.

 

Maybe This Time by Jennifer Crusie

I love Jennifer Crusie! This was a fun novel, a little paranormal (ghosts!) a lot of heart. Madcap, zany characters and kids who need understanding.

 

By a Thread by Jennifer Estep

The latest Elemental Assassin takes you on a wild ride when Gin and Bria go on vacation. Needless to say, things don’t go quite as planned and Gin brushes off her assassin skills again, this time to help Bria’s childhood friend. There’s plenty of Owen page time, which makes me happy and a satisfactory conclusion. 

 

Black Howl by Christina Henry

I can’t say much without giving spoilers but if you’ve read this series at all, you definitely need to read this one. Maddie has lots of problems here from a surprising source with a truly unexpected ending.

 

Third Grave Dead Ahead by Darynda Jones

This series keeps getting better and better! Charlie Davidson (grim reaper) can’t go to sleep or she summons Reyes (in my mind that’s good! He’s a great character!). She’s doing her normal private investigator stuff and she runs into problem after problem. It’s a wild ride you’ll be glad you didn’t miss.  Don’t start with this one, since it’s the third in the series, you’ll be lost. We meet some new characters which are certainly colorful and learn quite a lot about some characters we already know. Can’t wait for the next one, it promises to be an even wilder ride!

 

Shadow Heir by Richelle Mead

This was the conclusion to the Dark Swan series and it packed a wallop! I didn’t  necessarily agree with some of the decisions she made, but I think Eugenie was trying to do the best by everyone, as a ruler sometimes needs to do. The battle scene was great! The antagonist was delightfully evil and Dorian was charming. It was a good ending.

 

Secrets of the Demon by Diana Rowland

 

Sins of the Demon by Diana Rowland

O M G These books keep getting better and better! Diana Rowland is on my to-read list as soon as her books are published! People might be put-off by the premise of a demon summoning police officer, but it’s not satanic. The paranormal police procedurals are amazing and I highly recommend them!

 

Huntress (Grace Murphy novels) by Nicole Hamlett

 

Rifts (Grace Murphy novels) by Nicole Hamlett

I got the first book in the series from the amazon prime monthly book checkout (too bad I had to give it back!) and had to read the next one asap. The premise is truly brilliant; the main character begins as a romance writer who finds out she’s the daughter of a goddess and goes through an amazing metamorphosis. Curse the author for leaving a HUGE cliffhanger!

 

The Sex Club: A Detective Jackson Thriller by LJ Sellers

I debated putting this one in because I got pretty mad at the author for “preaching” liberal stuff at me. I don’t mind if the characters are liberal, but books where the characters are portrayed as extremely virtuous for making politically correct environmental and personal choices (and demonizes people who are conservative Christians) make me angry. The book was well-written though, the mystery engaging with a fascinating premise. However, be aware you might or might not like the preaching in it.

 

Spying in High Heels by Gemma Halliday

This was a fun weekend read.

 

The Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare

Can’t wait for the next one! Will, Jem and Tessa will engage you better than many books I’ve read lately. It’s technically YA literature, but even adults can enjoy this one. It’s the second in the Infernal Devices trilogy, so definitely read Clockwork Angel first. What’s with authors and cliffhangers lately?! Anyway, definitely worth the read.

 

Like I said at the beginning, I’ve read far more than this since I blogged last, but these are the best. Have fun reading!

Book Review: Wannabe Spy Club

Product Description

Meet Leslie, Dale, Jazz and Vivica: Four best friends use the skills they learn from their favorite spy shows and impromptu spy lessons to find love and bring down their enemies.
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Sometimes when you date someone, you have to date their friends as well.
But Leslie Mason isn’t ready to date. Her life has been in limbo since the night her parents died, and she’s spent the last five years raising her teenage sister, Amanda. All she really wants is to see her sister settled safely at college. As far as Leslie’s concerned, living like a nun is no big deal – after all, who needs a man when you have three best friends like the other members of The Wannabe Spy Club? Their mission: to learn everything they believe spies would know. If that means watching every spy show ever made, shooting guns, riding motorcycles, or even pole dancing, they’re all in. Therefore, Leslie sees no compelling reason to add a man to the mix... until she meets the oh-so-tempting, tattoo-covered, Harley-riding mechanic, Jack Bradley.
From the moment Jack Bradley laid eyes on Leslie Mason, he wanted her in every sense of the word. He wanted her tender loving heart, her hot little backside, and he sure as hell wanted to get a glimpse inside her “purse of tricks.” But Leslie is way out of his league. She’s looking for a Knight in Shining Armor, and Jack’s armor is pretty damn rusty. Believing the only way to win her is to show only his good side, Jack does what he can to keep his past a secret. All he needs to do is hold her sexual advances at bay long enough to wine her, dine her, and convince her he’s worth loving. Then and only then will he tell her the truth – that he’s an ex-alcoholic with a shady past, shadier friends, and an ex-con for a father.
Then, Leslie’s world turns upside down. Her sister’s gang-banging ex-boyfriend wants Amanda back and figures “if he can’t have her, no one can.” When kidnapping fails, the gangster does a drive-by shooting on the Mason house, then disappears. After the police confirm they can’t find Amanda’s ex, the four Wannabe Spies hatch a scheme to bring the gangster down with cell phones, duct tape and a laptop. Overhearing their crazy plans, Jack realizes there’s no way in hell he’s going to let the four na├»ve women handle this on their own. They may not realize what kind of person the ex-boyfriend is, but he knows from experience how dangerous a gang can be. He’s going to look out for the Wannabe Spies whether they like it or not...even if it means calling in the bad guys, tarnished armor and all. (from Amazon.com)


Review:

I was drawn in immediately by the group of friends who loved spy stuff so much they made a club to learn about all things related to spying. I loved the energetic relationship between Leslie, Dale, Jazz and Vivica, which spoke of a long-lasting, time-tested friendship. These friends were ready and willing to drop anything at the drop of a hat to help out any of the Wannabes.

From the first scene with Jack, I was completely hooked and found myself rooting for him and Leslie. They had a great chemistry that didn’t feel forced despite the relatively short time frame of the book. The author crams a lot of action into this book but it didn’t feel crammed. The pacing was great, the dialogue realistic, as was the emotional reactions to various situations in the book. Each character carried quite a lot of baggage in the book and I felt it was dealt with in a very satisfactory manner.

Leslie’s relationship with her sister felt realistic, especially since I have teenagers of my own. You just never really know what’s going to happen and have to be ready for anything (and sometimes even have to take drastic measures to keep them safe from themselves). I digress.  But seriously, the author crafts a fantastic, laugh-out-loud, hang-on-to-the-edge-of-your-seat story. I could  not put the book down and read it in a morning.

I laughed, I cheered, I dropped my jaw and said to myself “oh no, you di’unh!” I LOVED the scene where Leslie takes a crowbar to…. (you have to read the book to find out to what! No spoilers!).

I highly recommend reading the Wannabe Spy Club. It’s a book full of friendship, romance and family (and spy stuff!). I’m looking forward to the next book, which will be Vivica’s book.

Sensuality: a few kisses and a sex scene. I’d probably let my teenage daughter read it since it’s not overly explicit.

Rating: 5 stars