Thursday, November 16, 2017

A Rogue by Any Other Name/ Sarah MacLean/ 386 pgs

I loved the heroine in this story but did not care for the hero at all. This is a revenge plot. Michael, Lord Bourn, lost all of his inheritance, money and land, on a card game when he was 21. Does he take personal responsibility for his choice to wager everything he had? No he does not. Not on page 1 and not on page 386 either. I kept reading, hoping he would do so, but nope. I also kept reading because initially the heroine was awesome. Penelope is a pawn in Michael's plan to revenge himself against the man who won everything he owned. She called the hero out on his behavior again and again. Still, he never owned up to his choices. Eventually she falls in love with him and then I just felt sorry for her. This was one story where the hero needed much, much more self-reflection than just the few pages at the end. On a positive note, the writing was good and Michael has three friends in need of stories:-)

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

The Forbidden Rose / Joanna Bourne / 392 pgs

Joanna Bourne is a fantastic writer. I read her first two books a few years ago and then somehow never got around to reading more. When I saw that she has a new book out, I decided to catch up on the older ones as they compromise a loose series that centers on English and French spies. This one is set during the Reign of Terror in France. Marguerite (Maggie) is the daughter of an aristocrat who's been forced out of her home by a mob. She's also much more than that. William Doyle is an English spy posing as a Frenchman who discovers Maggie hiding out. In a shaky alliance, they set out for Paris together. There's a road trip, much intrigue, a prison break, and a sneak peek at a young Adrian, who is the hero of the next Bourne book I plan to read. If you like your historical romances well-researched and richly written, I recommend this one.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

The Child Finder/ Rene Denfeld/ 273 pgs

In many ways, this is not an easy book to read. However, the writing is terrific. It's spare but much is said in those few words. Naomi is the titular child finder. A missing child herself--one who was never able to reconnect with her family--has made it her mission in life to find other missing children. Sometimes she's successful, sometimes she's not. In her current case, she's investigating the disappearance of a 5-year-old girl in extremely rural, mountainous Oregon. We also get the perspective of the little girl, and it's unsettling to say the least. This book reminded me a little bit of Room. There is also another story line involving a missing infant. Obviously, the book is full of children in peril and can be difficult to read at times, so fair warning. Nonetheless, I thought this was very well written and quite in depth, despite the spare writing style.

Bookseller/Cynthia Swanson/349 pgs.

Kitty Miller is living in two worlds. In one world, she is single, and owns a bookstore with her friend, Frieda. In the alternate world, she is known as Katharyn Andersson, wife to Lars, and mother to triplets Missy, Mitch, and Michael. When she goes to sleep at night, she doesn't know in which world she will awaken. So, which world is her reality? As the story unfolds, the reader is given glimpses of how all of this has come about for Kitty/Katharyn. It was an interesting novel, but not one of my favorites.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Don't You Cry/ Mary Kubic / 320 pgs

I've read a few other books by Kubica and have never been wowed by them but she's so popular I thought I should give her another try. Unfortunately, I found this one underwhelming as well. It's told from two different view points. The first is that of Quinn, a twenty-something who lives and works in Chicago. Her roommate, Esther, is missing. The second viewpoint is that of Alex, an 18-year-old living across Lake Michigan in a small Michigan town who notices a new girl hanging around. As a reader, this book lacked tension because of a key piece of information we don't know. And a suspense book without tension is just...not that great. There was no sense of urgency and honestly the mystery itself was just not that compelling.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Handmaid's Tale/Margaret Atwood/311 pgs.

What once was the United States of America became the Republic of Gilead. In Gilead, women were divided into Wives, Marthas, and Handmaids. The story is told from Offred (as in Of Fred), a handmaid in the Commander's household. It is her job to become pregnant, turn the baby over to the Commander's wife to be raised, and eventually Offred will be disposed of. Offred, unfortunately, remembers life before Gilead existed. It's hard to believe that this novel is over 30 years old--there is so much that is relevant to today's world. Basically, it's a feminist's nightmare: women's main function is to procreate; women no longer hold jobs or have their own money; there is only one religion--and it doesn't favor women! It's a fascinating read, and terrifying in its possibilities. Highly recommended.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Dead Woman Walking/ Sharon Bolton / 363 pgs

This is the best book I've read all year. I've said before that I love Bolton's work but this one is a cut above. It's one of those books that you want to go back and read again once you've finished, just so you can see all the tricks the author played.

Jessica surprises her older sister, a nun, with a balloon ride for her 40th birthday. The exciting adventure soon turns deadly when the balloon passengers witness an assault and are then attacked from the ground. The balloon crashes and Jessica is the only survivor. Both the assailant and police are trying to track her down but it's clear she doesn't want to be found. I don't want to say anymore than that. This is a fast-paced ride with a lots of surprising twists at the end. If you like suspense, please give it a read!

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Dear Fahrenheit 451:Love and Heartbreak in the Stacks/Annie Spence

In a very humorous way, public librarian Annie Spence pens love letters and break up letters to books she has read. The reader comes away with a new look at books he/she has in common with the author, and a desire to read some of the books he/she haven't read before. This is a fun book--laugh out loud funny at times--and a unique approach to luring the reader into expanding his/her reading tastes. Those working in a public library will find even more to enjoy. Highly recommended!

A Rogue by Any Other Name/ Sarah MacLean/ 386 pgs

I loved the heroine in this story but did not care for the hero at all. This is a revenge plot. Michael, Lord Bourn, lost all of his inher...