Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Book Review: The Last Kiss Goodbye by Karen Robards


ISBN-13: 9780345535825
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 8/13/2013


Dr. Charlotte “Charlie” Stone has dedicated her career as a psychiatrist to exploring the darkest territory of all: the hearts and minds of serial killers. It’s a job she’s uniquely suited for, thanks to the secret talent that gives her an uncanny edge—Charlie can see dead people, whose tormented spirits cry out to her for the justice only she can provide. This blessing—or curse—gives Charlie the power to hunt down and catch madmen and murderers. It’s also turned her love life upside down by drawing her into a hopelessly passionate relationship with the lingering ghost of charismatic bad boy Michael Garland.

But there’s little time for romance with her supernatural suitor when murder comes pounding at Charlie’s door in the form of a terrified young woman fleeing a homicidal maniac. Saving her life places Charlie squarely in the cross-hairs of a sadistic predator nicknamed “the Gingerbread Man,” notorious for manipulating his victims like pawns in a deadly chess game. And now the queen this psychopath’s bent on capturing is Charlie. Refusal to play will only put more innocent lives in danger. Matching wits with this cunningly twisted opponent will require all of Charlie’s training and expert skills. But even with her devilish “guardian angel”—not to mention her favorite flesh-and-blood Fed, Tony Bartoli—watching her beautiful back, the Gingerbread Man’s horrifying grin might be the last thing Charlie ever sees.

So if you've read my blog at all, you probably know that I loved the first book in this series, The Last Victim.  And I was waiting not so patiently for the next book to be released.  Finally I have read it and am able to share my thoughts.

First, I liked this book very much.  Not as much as the first book, but it was still good.  The serial killer plot was very interesting.  Robards is good at coming up with unique stuff for sure.  I think that's what I like most about these books, it's not just the same old, same old. 

I love the characters.  I think Michael's personality was a little weaker in this book than the last, but I still loved reading about him. 

Throughout the whole book, I kept thinking, this romance is impossible.  Where is she going to go with this??  Most romance novels have conflict, but you know in the end it's going to work out.  Not with this book.  I have NO IDEA what's going to happen.  Which leaves me hungry for more story. 

This book didn't leave me pulling my hair out wondering what would be next, like the last book.  But it was an enjoyable read.

There were a few things that I didn't care for though.  First, the romance scenes between Charlie and Michael felt off.  I love the sexual tension between them, but the actual physical part wasn't my favorite.  I didn't really understand how it all worked with him being solid, then not solid, etc.

Also, I felt there were parts that were redundant.  We know how Charlie feels, but it's repeated quite a bit as inner struggle. 

And since I've read the advanced readers copy, I'm not sure if this will change in editing, but I thought all the parenthesis were distracting. (If they don't change it, you'll see what I mean.)

Overall though, good book and I will definitely be waiting for the third and final book in this series to see how Robards brings this all to a conclusion.

Pre-order your copy of The Last Kiss Goodbye here.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Upcoming Books for Fall 2013

I was looking around on Barnes and Noble's website (a very time consuming habit of mine).  And I started seeing a bunch of books that I'm excited to read this fall.  I thought I would make a list of a few of them.  This is by no means all inclusive.  And the selections are in no particular order.  If I had to pick, I would say I'm most excited for Allegiant in October!! 

And if you've read my blog, you know I have a love/hate relationship with Nora Robert's books.  But this one looks like it's a throwback to her earlier work.  I'm really excited to see how this series starts out.  I really don't want to be disappointed with another one of her books.

I'm sure there are a ton of books that I want to read that I didn't think to include in this list.  If I think of them, I'll just make another list to post:)

Are there any books you are looking forward to reading this fall?  If so, I'ld love to hear what they are!  Add your favorites in the comments below.

Run to you

Rachel Gibson

September 24, 2013
Blue by You

Rachel Gibson

September 3, 2013
Three little words

Susan Mallery

August 1, 2013
Rumor Has It

Jill Shalvis

November 5, 2013


Karen Robards

December 31, 2013
The Sum of All Kisses

Julia Quinn

October 29, 2013


Veronica Roth

October 22, 2013

No good duke goes unpunished

Sarah Maclean

November 26, 2013

Dark Witch

Nora Roberts

October 29, 2013

Monday, July 15, 2013

Book Review: Elite by Rachel Van Dyken

ISBN-13: 9781455554164
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication date: 7/9/2013
Series: Eagle Elite

 When I won the annual Eagle Elite College Scholarship lottery, I was thrilled. After all, my grandma had just died and I wanted to take care of my aging grandpa -- he couldn't be a farmer in Wyoming forever. And graduating from Eagle Elite meant opportunity.
But I wasn't counting on meeting Nixon.

 Nor was I counting on the rules of the Elect.

1. Do not touch The Elect.

2. Do not look at The Elect.

3. Do not speak to The Elect.

And worst of all? Don't discover the secret they hide, because in the end, you may just realize... it's about you.

Okay, I stayed up till 2 am reading this book. And the later it got, the better it got. So I'm not sure if the late hour and a sluggish brain made this book seem better than it really was, or if I really did like it.

I am hesitant to read too many of the newly categorized "New Adult" books. They are usually teenage characters that have a lot of overly emotional sex. And I don't care for that. This book wasn't like that. The characters are in college, but it's a fairly tame book for this new category.

The best way to summarize this book is this: Twilight with the mafia instead of vampires.

Seriously, after reading it, I think the author used Twilight as a plot guide for this book.  The main difference between the two books (if you subtract the vampire vs. mob thing) is that the characters in twilight were much more developed.

Very rarely do I think an author should have written more. And I'm not referring to the ending, as it is set up to have a sequel. I'm referring to the development of the characters and the emotional state of the relationships. I wish the author would have taken a little more time to show us specifically what these characters were feeling. Don't get me wrong, I liked the book and I would have downloaded the sequel immediately if it were published. But there were several times throughout the book where I thought, give me more.  I want to know more about them. Make me care about them just a little bit more.

The whole mafia thing isn't one I've read a lot about, so it was something new and interesting. But I got the connection of the main character immediately. It was kind of annoying that the main character herself didn't see it. At one point I thought, okay this girl is kinda stupid.

But for the most part, it was an interesting read that left me wanting to know what happens next in this series. I will for sure get the next one when it comes out, especially since they are only priced at $2.99.

* Interesting characters
* Interesting love plot
* Predictable suspense plot
* Almost exactly like Twilight except that the Twilight author took five books to tell the story and this author rushes through enough that it should NOT take five books to tell the story.
* I will read the sequel
* Somewhat violent, but not overly sexual

This book was an advanced readers copy provided by NetGalley.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Guest Blogger Book Review: True Love by Jude Deveraux

True Love
Author: Jude Deveraux

ISBN-13: 9780345541796

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 7/9/2013


GoodRead's Synopsis:
Just as Alix Madsen is finishing up architectural school, Adelaide Kingsley dies and wills her, for one year, the use of a charming nineteenth-century Nantucket house. The elderly woman’s relationship to the Madsen family is a mystery to the spirited Alix—fresh from a romantic breakup—but for reasons of her own Alix accepts the quirky bequest, in part because it gives her time to plan her best friend’s storybook wedding.

But unseen forces move behind the scenes, creaking Kingsley House’s ancient floorboards. It seems that Adelaide Kingsley had a rather specific task for Alix: to solve the strange disappearance of one of the Kingsley women, Valentina, more than two hundred years ago. If that wasn’t troubling enough, Alix must deal with the arrogant (and extremely good-looking) architect Jared Montgomery, who is living in the property’s guesthouse.

Unbeknown to Alix, Jared has been charged with looking after her while she lives on the island—an easy task for him, considering the undeniable chemistry between the two. But Jared harbors secrets of his own, which, if revealed, may drive a wedge between the pair.

With a glorious Nantucket wedding on the horizon, sparks fly, and the ghosts of the past begin to reveal themselves—some of them literally. Finding their lives inextricably entwined with the turbulent fortunes of their ancestors, Alix and Jared discover that only by righting the wrongs of the past can they hope to be together.
This book was a fun book to read.  The author introduces the characters with wit and charm and from the very beginning you know it is going to be light and entertaining. In a story where everyone is a cousin, aunt, or uncle to the main character, I was worried I would have to keep too many names and connections straight, but the author did a good job by not having too many relatives and friends be a meaningful part of the story.
There was a point in the story going through all the romance that I felt the mystery was going to be left behind. The quest for "ghost" answers was almost forgotten. However, reading further into the book, I was not disappointed at all. The author pulled me into the mystery of the past and there were just enough twists between past and present characters that I had to keep reading to see what would happen next. Usually ghosts are depicted as scary, however, I fell in love with the Captain with everyone else. I was truly sad about his circumstances and lost love, and truly happy there was a happy ending for him. I was a little disappointed that he did not get to keep his good looks. I had picutred him in my mind as a "Captain Jack Sparrow" kind of man and he ended up feeling kind of short, dumpy, and bald in my head.
Overall, I liked that there were not a lot of detailed love scenes that I would have skipped over anyway, and the book left me with a smile on my face!