July 20, 2017

Some Kind of Hero. Suzanne Brockmann

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Published: Ballantine
Date: July 11th 2017
Format: e-ARC
Pages: 448
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
4 stars                Add to Goodreads
Navy men don’t come tougher than Lieutenant Peter Greene. Every day he whips hotshot SEAL wannabes into elite fighters. So why can’t he handle one fifteen-year-old girl? His ex’s death left him a single dad overnight, and very unprepared. Though he can’t relate to an angsty teen, he can at least keep Maddie safe—until the day she disappears. Though Pete’s lacking in fatherly intuition, his instinct for detecting danger is razor sharp. Maddie’s in trouble. Now he needs the Troubleshooters team at his back, along with an unconventional ally.

Romance writer Shayla Whitman never expected to be drawn into a real-world thriller—or to meet a hero who makes her pulse pound. Action on the page is one thing. Actually living it is another story. Shay’s not as bold as her heroines, but she’s a mother. She sees the panic in her new neighbor’s usually fearless blue eyes—and knows there’s no greater terror for a parent than having a child at risk. It’s an ordeal Shay won’t let Pete face alone. She’s no highly trained operative, but she’s smart, resourceful, and knows what makes teenagers tick.

My thoughts banner
Some Kind of Hero is #17 in The Troubleshooter series. This is a an action/romantic suspense novel that really only loosely relates to the series. It has Izzy Zanella and Peter Green (Grunge) and a few of the others, but it just involves them a little.

This is essentially the story of Maddie, daughter of Peter, she has inadvertently got herself mixed up with, someone who leaves her holding a can of worms and a price on her head. Escaping with a rather dubious guy called Dingo she runs from the guy who is threatening her and wanting $10 000 that she doesn't have, or... her life. She has only recently come to live with her rather unknown Dad and is just fifteen. Dingo is twenty and so far hasn't really been an outstanding human being. However it could be said he is the hero when it all washes out.

In desperately trying to trace his runaway daughter, Peter makes the quick acquaintance with his next door neighbor - Shayla. There is an immediate attraction between them which gets hot and heavy as the search progresses.  Shayla is a romantic suspense writer, with a hero of her own from her books who has a disconcerting way of talking in her head, giving her advice, mostly very useful. And a device at times I found a little annoying.

It takes awhile for them to track down Maddie - well most of the book! So at times things moved a little more slowly than I am used to in a Brockmann Troubleshooter's book.  However when it did happen it was worth the wait.  I loved the surprise of one moment when the "calvary" arrived. Made me jump and chuckle.

I enjoyed the book but was looking for a little more in terms of Navy SEALS. Also it just didn't have the tightness and tension I have come to expect from Suzanne Brockmann's writing. I see it is also noted as #2 in The Reluctant Heroes series and it probably fits in there more. However no doubt most reader fans of The Troubleshooters series will, like me want to read this.

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July 18, 2017

Indigo Lake Jodi Thomas

From the Pen of Jodi Thomas.
The two main characters in INDIGO LAKE came from two different worlds.  Blade had no family who cares about him and Dakota was sometimes smothered in her responsibilities.  Both were looking for someone, the right person, to fill the longing, but neither would admit it.

Dakota Davis had heard her grandmother's dark stories about the Hamilton house all her life.  When she turned off the county road heading toward home, she thought she was seeing a ghost standing knee-deep in Indigo Lake.

Blade Hamilton had inherited a house he cared nothing about.  After driving all day to look at it, he'd decided to sell it all, land, house and heritage.  He hadn't known about his father and he didn't need an old crippled house with wild roses growing almost to the roof.

As they get to know one another they begin to care and the love they share seems to cut their problems in half.

I love writing stories about people who become so real to me that I wake up nights worrying about them.  That's how it was with Blade and Dakota.  And Dakota's sister was too good a character to let her story end so she will be the star of her own Christmas short story in October.

Good news for Ransom Canyon fans: WINTER’S CAMP is included in the back of INDIGO LAKE!

Hope you enjoy both,

Jodi Thomas 

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Published: Harlequin
Date: 18th July 2017
Pages: 432
Genre: Western Romance
Source: Publisher via NG
4.5 stars            Add to Goodreads
Blade Hamilton is the last of his line. He's never even heard of Crossroads, Texas, until he inherits land there. Riding in on his vintage Harley-Davidson, Blade finds a weathered ranch house, an empty prairie and a dark river that cuts a decisive path between the Hamiltons' land and that of their estranged neighborsWhen Dakota helps a stranger on the roadside, she isn't prepared for the charisma of the man on the motorbike—or for the last name he bears: Hamilton, of her family's sworn enemies.

Lauren Brigman feels adrift. Unhappy in work and unlucky in love, she knows she ought to be striving for more, but she's never truly at peace unless she's at home in Crossroads. If the wider world can't satisfy her, is home truly where her heart is?

My thoughts banner
Indigo Lake by Jodi Thomas is #6 in the Ransom Canyon series, and what can I say but that I loved this visit to Crossroads Texas. Its another one of those places I'd love to live or ... at least visit.

We have ourselves a bit of feud between the  Hamilton and Davis family, it seems there has been some bad blood in the past and if Grandmother is to be believed its best that they don't approach each other. However Blade really likes the pint sized Dakota and if anything he is about to put that feud to bed.

We also catch up with Lauren and Lucas and Tim and that other one Ryan, all linked together by a happening when they were teens. We've watched the attraction between Lucas and Lauren wax and wane, and wondered whether they will ever find their way together. Plus Tim and Lauren are best friends and might even enjoy sleeping with each other. I ask you! Where is all this going!

Something very fishy is going on at Ryan's ranch, there a few bodies and something that just does not seem right. Dan Brigman is sheriff and he wants to find out just what it is.  So before we know it Blade is sworn in as a deputy with little pay and an eighteen hour day or more. 

This is a place where you can expect shootings and danger. We're talking a good cowboy story. Where people are locked up in the local jail for their own safety and the town looks after them. 

I loved the humor and the turn of phrase that makes this series so fun to read. All that I expected was there. I was just sorry I couldn't get to visit with all the beloved people of the town, but I hope to make the acquaintance of some of them next time. There sure needs to be a #7 and more!

And delighted to see that Jodi says she is going to have a story for Dakota's sister, who happens to be blind. Yay. Going to be an October happy read.
western romanticcrime auto read

July 17, 2017

It's Monday. What Are You Reading?

17th July

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week.  It's a great post to organise yourself. It's an opportunity to visit and comment, and er... add to that ever growing TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started with J Kaye's Blog   and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date. And here we are!

Jen Vincent, Teach Mentor Texts, and Kellee of Unleashing Readers decided to give It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, anything in the world of kidlit – join them!
a divide

I had another great week of reading. Winter hit us in the last week, it usually does at this time, so cold and wet. Means my walks are fewer because I am not willing to get soaking wet.

While I try not to buy new books I do! Cough! However while chatting on an author's FB reading page we got to talking about books we read as children and loved. Someone mentioned the Cherry Ames books (I liked what I read of them) and that in turn reminded me of the Sue Barton books, so in a moment of weakness I purchased from Amazon a set of the seven books in the series. At a stiff cost when you take in postage to NZ etc. 

What would be one of your childhood nostalgic books or series?                                      

What I read last week:

I listened to this from the library while sewing. I gobbled it up, really loved it on audio. I won't be reviewing it but Rita's short review of The Stars are Fire at Paging Through Books was the one that fully decided me on reading it. And as I listened to the audiobook version I highly recommend the narration of Suzanne Elise Freeman.

I also listened to Until it Fades
I really enjoyed this romantic tale that had a Cinderella tinge to it. Enjoyable and entertaining and really well narrated. Sheer escapism!

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From the TBR shelf I read and liked We Never Asked for Wings. I also read a review book - Until You Loved Me by Brenda Novak - review will be posted. Liked it as well.
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What I am reading at present:

Now reading a review book, the one granted to me a year after requesting! It is historical fiction and I think I will enjoy it. 30% in.
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And just starting to listen to...
The title alone would draw me in! But I've read some of your reviews too  ;)

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Up next:

One of my recently buys, most likely...
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Last Weeks Posts
The Almost Sisters   Joshilyn Jackson
Secrets of the Tulip Sisters   Susan Mallery
The Beach at Painter's Cover   Shelley Noble

a divide

July 16, 2017

The Beach at Painter's Cove. Shelley Noble

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Published:William Morrow
Date: June 15th 2017
Pages: 432
Genre: Mainstream Fiction
Source: Publisher
4 stars            Add to Goodreads
The Whitaker family’s Connecticut mansion, Muses by the Sea, has always been a haven for artists, a hotbed of creativity, extravagances, and the occasional scandal. Art patrons for generations, the Whitakers supported strangers but drained the life out of each other. Now, after being estranged for years, four generations of Whitaker women find themselves once again at The Muses.

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The Beach at Painter's Cove by Shelley Noble brings us into the lives of the Whitaker family in an old family mansion. It is a multi-generational family, a little unusual and certainly dysfunctional, and very certainly not ordinary.

Issy is called home from her work in a museum by her young niece Mandy. She and her brother and sister Stephanie have been dropped off at their great - grandmother's house by their mother who has then disappeared. Arriving home Issy finds bills unpaid and her grandmother Leo in hospital and her aunt Fae trying to hold things together.  

Fortunately for Issy she has good friends in Chloe and Ben, who are there at every turn as Issy tries to deal with the situation she finds at the house. Worse is yet to come, its possible the house will need to be sold and her rather selfish mother, sister and uncle are yet to descend on her.

I liked Issy, she is responsible and ultimately caring, she loves her grandmother and aunt and wants to do right by them. She has reservations and anxieties about being sent from the house and the memories she has of her own childhood. Yet she seems to be the most rounded human being in her family.

Another character that I felt sympathy for was Fae, she appears to be well a little fay, she is arty and a little out of the ordinary, but her heart too was in the right place and she has made sacrifices for the good of others.  I liked especially how she could see where twelve year old Stephanie was coming from and was able to connect with her in a special way. I totally agreed with Fae's final choice.

There is plenty of family drama, some mystery, a tiny amount of romance and some growth for most of the characters.  Living in the Whitaker family would never be dull.

page turner cover love well written beach read

July 13, 2017

Secrets of the Tulip Sisters. Susan Mallery

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Published: MIRA (Australia)
Date: 10th July 2017
Format :e-ARC
Pages: 384
Genre:Contemporary Romance
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
4.5 stars             Add to Goodreads
The relationship of sisters Kelly and Olivia Van Gilder has been, well… complicated ever since their mother left them as teens, though it's the secrets they have been keeping from each other as adults that have unwittingly widened the chasm. But one thing they do share is the not-so-secret torch they carry for the Martin brothers.

In the small enclave of New Holland, Washington, Griffith and Ryan Martin were demigods. While Griffith was the object of Kelly's high school crush and witness to her mortal teenage humiliation, Ryan was for Olivia the boy who got away-something she's never forgiven Kelly for-and the only person since her mother who appreciated her wild streak.

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Secrets of the Tulip Sisters was a winning read for me. I really enjoyed the characters, the constant roller coaster ride of relationships between various people, and most of all the sisters themselves, Kelly and Olivia.

Both girls hold secrets that the other doesn't know and some of them could push them over the brink of never speaking to each other again! Olivia has just returned home after many years away. Their mother left them when they were young girls, just let me say... no one would want her for a mother and that's for sure. I liked both girls and the journey they take as they renew their relationship, and reach out into romantic relationships as well.

Olivia is a very organised person with a number of talents that see her making herself very useful to the people of Tulpen Crossing  as she sets about showing them how they might improve their businesses. Its not long into the time she realises Ryan isn't the one for her, however unbeknown to her Sven, the one she attaches herself to might be a time bomb waiting!

Kelly has a best friend Helen, they are great mates, however Helen is falling for someone that is going to rock Kelly's world. How will that work out? I wasn't sure right to the last move, but it all worked out for the best in the end.

I loved the job that Griffith  had building tiny houses, and the tulip growing business that Kelly is so involved in. These combined with Olivia's love of design and improving the appearance of her sister and others just sweetened this story.

Griffith was a piece of work! He is determined to have a relationship with Kelly but no commitment or love, he was burned once in marriage and never again. Of course the man is living in lala land, he's on the road even though he doesn't realise it. His care and concern over Kelly is admirable and the lengths he goes to - superb. Especially with one difficulty that Kelly has that he deals with by some research and very straight talking.

A wonderful, romantic story with that something extra that made it a delightful read.

sizzling romance well written cover love page turner

July 11, 2017

The Almost Sisters. Joshilyn Jackson

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Published: William Morrow
Date: 11th July 2017
Format: e-ARC
Pages: 352
Genre: Contemporary Ficton
Source: Publisher
5 stars                 Add to Goodreads
Superheroes have always been Leia Birch Briggs' weakness. One tequila-soaked night at a comics convention, the usually level-headed graphic novelist is swept off her barstool by a handsome and anonymous Batman.

It turns out the caped crusader has left her with more than just a nice, fuzzy memory. She's having a baby boy--an unexpected but not unhappy development in the thirty-eight year-old's life. But before Leia can break the news of her impending single-motherhood (including the fact that her baby is biracial) to her conventional, Southern family, her step-sister Rachel's marriage implodes. Worse, she learns her beloved ninety-year-old grandmother, Birchie, is losing her mind, and she's been hiding her dementia with the help of Wattie, her best friend since girlhood.

Leia returns to Alabama to put her grandmother's affairs in order, clean out the big Victorian that has been in the Birch family for generations, and tell her family that she's pregnant. Yet just when Leia thinks she's got it all under control, she learns that illness is not the only thing Birchie's been hiding.
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The Almost Sisters  by Joshilyn Jackson was an amazing read. So many layers to it, with a variety of characters that embody so much of southern USA still today.

Leia is a graphic artist and novelist, she is talented and made her way in this world really well. She has created her own work in a graphic novel about Violence and Violet. It has been a huge success but now she is not sure where to turn. She is meant to be writing a prequel showing the origin of Violence but she can't quite get there, nor can she proceed with a further story because she so violently finished off the novel. Who are Violet and Violence and how do they link to each other and Leia was one of the mysteries in this book.   It was one of the questions that held my interest all the way through.                                    

Leia has a sister Rachel, well they are step sisters - almost sisters, Leia's Dad died early and her mother remarried, however small Rachel was adamant Leia was not going to call Rachel's  father - daddy.  The theme of fatherhood and its importance runs through the book, echoed in a number of places. In one place we have Lavender, Rachel's daughter who is lost to her father at present as her mother has thrown him out of the house.  Lavender needs her dad.

And of course we have Leia pregnant with new life, but no daddy. And that's upsetting especially for Lavender who is determined to do something about it.  That's not the only place fatherhood is examined, but no more, because to mention it would be to spoil it for readers.

As well we have two wily old women, Birchie - Leia's grandmother and Birchie's best friend Wattie. They tell a story of the south and how white and black people integrate or not, its a story of great sadness and also of hope. Theirs is a tough story but a brave one and is a very important part of the book.  Leia walks right into a mystery that is about to blow right up.

I was drawn right from the beginning with this book and found it an absorbing read, while heartbreaking at times, the  bond of love and loyalty wins through.  It is confronting and highlights the issue of racism that will no doubt leave a mark on any open and compassionate heart.

Summer Selection.

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