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July 2014

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Jul. 30th, 2014

I'd rather be reading

Book Review: The Zoo Job by Keith R. A. DeCandido

Leverage 2

The Team is asked to help a small zoo find their missing rhinos. The trail leads to Africa, sending Eliot and Sophie to the source of the sale. It isn't a country that Eliot wants to revisit, having some history there. The rest of the team try to determine who stole them and why, looking closely at the Board of Directors of the zoo.

DeCandido does a marvelous job capturing the characters, although it is tough to beat the aired version. The author also shows how some who want to do good can make bad choices. Even better, Jim Sterling makes an appearance. 4 out of 5

Jul. 23rd, 2014

I'd rather be reading

Book Review: A Case of Possession by KJ Charles

A Charm of Magpies 2

Lucien Vaudrey, the new Earl Crane, found himself in a quandary. His current lover, Stephen Day, kept disappearing on him, busy at his own magical work. Since he would never allow anyone to interfere with his business, he understands even if he doesn't like it. It's when Theo Rackham tries to blackmail Lucien, threatening Stephen in the process, that things get nasty. Then there are the giant rats of Sumatra.

Wow. This is a wonderful story, exciting and scary and romantic all at once. My favorite scene is probably when Lucien confesses his feelings to Stephen. The scariest scene is shortly afterwards, causing the reader to go through highs and lows in short procession. I am so glad that I discovered this book, thanks to Smart Bitches, Sexy Books. 5 out of 5.

Jul. 17th, 2014

I'd rather be reading

Book Review: The Hell You Say by Josh Lanyon

Adrien English 3

Christmas is turning out to be stranger than usual for bookstore owner and mystery writer Adrien English. Someone is cursing Angus, his employee, so Adrien gives him money to leave town for a couple of days. Author Gabriel Savant announces an expose of a witchcraft cult preying on the young at his store during a booksigning. And Adrien's closeted lover, Detective Jake Riordan, is investigating satanic cult related murders while trying to keep his predilection for m/m sexual encounters quiet. And his mother may have found someone willing to marry her.

Despite my disgust for Jake's refusal to admit that he might be bisexual, I've always thought he would come around as he truly does care for Adrien. But sadly he seems to be bolting that closet with deadlocks. There is a potential future love interest for Adrien in Guy Snowden, but is it too soon? I like Guy, but I really thought Jake had potential. I'm torn, almost as much as Adrien. I'm definitely wondering how the next installment will work out. As to Lisa's potential new family? I think I really like the girls. There is definitely future fodder with the one girl's husband. This series just gets better and better. 4.5 out of 5.

Jul. 15th, 2014

I'd rather be reading

Book Review: It Came Upon a Midnight Clear by Suzanne Brockmann

Tall, Dark & Dangerous 6

William "Crash" Hawken has been set up. He was used by someone high in the government to get a team of assassins into the presence of Admiral Jake Robinson, then accused of being the killer himself. Nell Burns was determined to help the man she hopelessly loved prove his innocence, but could it cause her even more pain?

The story starts off with a bang, then flips back a year to show how Nell and Crash connected with each other as they waited with Jake when his long-time lover was dying of cancer. The switch almost makes the book feel like two different ones, yet I understand why we're given that hook. Somehow Brockmann makes it work. I really liked having the time to discover both main characters' strengths and weaknesses. The addition of some old friends from previous books didn't hurt either. 4.5 out of 5.

Jul. 8th, 2014

I'd rather be reading

Book Review: When I Say When by Tia Fielding

m/m

Jordan has been told by his therapist to either have weekends off or prepare to die young. Unable to meet someone who he can make a connection with, he decides to hire a male prostitute. He never expected to see the focus of his long held crush again.

I've been spoiled. My last group of books have all been enjoyable and high-rated. I cannot rate this short story very high at all. One of the things that annoys me is the use of frequent flashbacks, whether in books, movies or television shows. This story is chock full of them. As another reviewer mentioned, I found myself fast flipping through the e-version. I just didn't connect with the characters nor did I feel eager to see the two men hook up. 3 out of 5.
I'd rather be reading

Book Review: You Must Remember This by Robert J. Wagner

Subtitled "Life and Style in Hollywood's Golden Age". Robert Wagner is back with another wonderful book, this one focusing on the history of Hollywood and the impact of the culture that grew around the movie community on the lifestyle of not only the surrounding area, but the world. It was a different time, one without social media, paparazzi, with freedom for stars to live their lives. Architecture, clothing, restaurants and nightclubs, and various locales all were changed or influenced by the business that transformed a sleepy little town begun as a teetotalling religious community.

As much as I loved Wagner's prior book, I adore this one. I can imagine sitting at a secluded booth in a great restaurant, listening to stories related by an actor I've followed from film to television and back again. Anyone who has any interest in early Hollywood, who want to know the people behind the lifestyle changes needs to read this book. You'll be introduced to the known and the forgotten, the famous and the overlooked. You'll learn so much that you never knew and even more about things you did. Here's hoping that Robert Wagner continues sharing his memories with us. I'll definitely continuing buying. 5 out of 5.

Jul. 5th, 2014

I'd rather be reading

Book Review: Devil's Gate by Thea Harrison

Elder Races 4.6.

Medusan Seremela Telemar reluctantly agrees to go after her rebellious niece one more time for her sister. Vetta has fled to Devil's Gate, a wild open town in Nevada with the law is absent. Vampire lawyer Duncan Turner insists on going with Seremela, hoping for a chance to gain her romantic interest.

I was thrilled to see that Harrison's heroine was a medusa as they have fascinated me from the first. I do wish this had been a much longer story, with lots more danger in Devil's Gate, but this is still an engrossing tale of romance and danger. 4.5 out of 5.

Jul. 3rd, 2014

I'd rather be reading

Book Review: Hazardous Duty by W. E. B. Griffin & William E. Butterworth IV

Presidential Agent 8

President Joshua Ezekiel Clendennen, still bonkers, has the bright idea to pull Charley Castillo back into service to lead his war on Mexican drug cartels and Somalian pirates.

This is a delightful series, but in this episode Griffin goes full out for humor, likening it to one of the M*A*S*H book sequels he used to write. Despite the humor and the silliness, you still get to see how everyone is getting on since the last book. Not as much blood and violence as the previous books, but the characters are still able to carry the story along. I don't know if Griffin and his son will continue this particular series, but I'll be there if they do. 4.5 out of 5.

Jun. 30th, 2014

I'd rather be reading

Book Review: Carolina Moon by Nora Roberts

Tory Bodeen is returning to Progress, ready to face the pain of her childhood as well as finding answers to the murder of her best friend when they were just eight years old. Along the way she discovers love, friendship, and a home.

Roberts has such a deft hand in building characters. I won't say who it was here, but I was shocked at the identity of the killer, even if I sometimes wondered if it might not be him. The psychic angle was well handled as well as how hard it would be for someone with that talent to work with the police. I really adored Faith, bitch though she was. Cade is a true hero, supportive of the heroine which is something I particularly love in a Roberts' novel. We actually have two romances going on with a couple of peripheral ones and yet none of the main characters are slighted in the book. 4.5 out of 5.

Jun. 29th, 2014

I'd rather be reading

Book Review: Cronkite by Douglas Brinkley

For so many of us, particularly the baby boomer generation, there was only one newsman we could trust to tell us the unvarnished, unhyped truth. And that man was Walter Cronkite, or Uncle Walter as he was called here in my part of Florida. A space enthusiast, he was the real deal. He understood the job and the people, he didn't go for the worst case scenario commentary like Dr. Jules Bergman over at ABC, he wasn't boring like the men over at NBC (usually Chet Huntley or David Brinkley). Cronkite could explain almost anything in a way that let everyone understand it without talking down to them. He loved the program and we loved him.

If you haven't already read A REPORTER'S LIFE by Walter Cronkite himself, you'll find this book fascinating. If you have, you will find yourself going over a lot of familiar territory, which may be more repetitive than you might care for. The detail is exquisite, the writing is accessible and definitely not boring. 4.5 out of 5.

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