31. March 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Jane, Mystery

NYPD RED 2 by James Patterson and Marshall Karp, read by Jane, on 03/14/2014

When NYPD Red arrives at a crime scene, everyone takes notice. Known as the protectors of the rich, famous, and connected, NYPD Red is the elite task force called in only for New York City’s most high-profile crimes. And Detective Zach Jordan is the best of the best, a brilliant and relentless pursuer of justice. He puts professionalism above all, ignoring his feelings for his partner, Detective Kylie MacDonald, the woman who broke his heart when they first met in the academy.

But even with their top-notch training, Zach and Kylie aren’t prepared for what they see when they’re called to a crime scene in the heart of Central Park. They arrive to find a carousel spinning round and round, its painted horses grinning eerily in the early morning dark. There is only one rider: a brutally slaughtered woman, her body tied up and dressed in a Hazmat suit, on display for the world to see.

The victim, a woman of vast wealth and even greater connections, is the fourth in a string of shocking murders that have hit the city. As the public pressure mounts, and political and personal secrets of the highest order hang in the balance, Zach and Kylie must find out what’s really behind the murderer’s rampage. But Kylie has been acting strange recently–and Zach knows whatever she’s hiding could threaten the biggest case of their careers.

31. March 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Mystery, Tracy

Put On By Cunning by Ruth Rendell, read by Tracy, on 03/29/2014

The eleventh book to feature the classic crime-solving detective, Chief Inspector Wexford.

Sir Manuel Camargue, Kingsmarkham’s very own celebrity flautist, dies tragically on a snowy night. His death is met with a ruling of misadventure and appears to be an open-and-shut-case. However Wexford, as the investigating officer, has a few niggling doubts.

Nineteen years later, Camargue’s entrancing daughter, Natalie, now a considerable heiress, suddenly reappears in Kingsmarkham. When her fiancé appeals to Wexford for help, believing that Natalie is using a false identity, the case of the Camargues is once more under investigation.

Events soon take a gruesome twist and the pressure is on for Wexford to discover Natalie’s true identity and to solve the mystery of the Camargue family, once and for all.

31. March 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Thriller/Suspense, Tracy

The Tomb by F. Paul Wilson, read by Tracy, on 03/21/2014

Much to the chagrin of his girlfriend, Gia, Repairman Jack doesn’t deal with electronic appliances-he fixes situations for people, often putting himself in deadly danger. His latest project is recovering a stolen necklace, which carries with it an ancient curse that may unleash a horde of Bengali demons. Jack is used to danger, but this time Gia’s daughter Vicky is threatened. Can Jack overcome the curse of the yellow necklace and bring Vicky safely back home?

31. March 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Thriller/Suspense, Tracy

The Grave Tattoo by Val McDermid, read by Tracy, on 03/17/2014

After summer rains uncover a corpse bearing tattoos like those of eighteenth-century seafarers, many residents of the English Lake District can’t help but wonder whether it’s the body of one of the town’s most legendary fugitives.

Scholar and native Lakelander Jane Gresham feels compelled to finally discover the truth about the myths and buried secrets rooted in her hometown. What she never expected was to find herself at the heart of a 200-year-old mystery that still has the power to put lives on the line. And with each new lead she pursues, death follows hard on her heels….

31. March 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fantasy, Fiction, Graphic Novel, Paranormal, Science Fiction, Tammy · Tags:

Black Orchid by Neil Gamain, read by Tammy, on 03/30/2014

black orchidNeil Gaiman writes a unique, dark and moving super hero story of a crime fighter trying to discover who she really is. I would recommend reading the introduction after reading the graphic novel. I think the intro gives to much away. The illustrations of Dave McKean make this a hauntingly beautiful story while the unique lettering technique of Todd Klein helps the reader follow the multiple story lines.

 

31. March 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Children's Books, Fairy Tales and Folklore, Fantasy, Tammy · Tags:

Instructions by Neil Gamain, read by Tammy, on 03/29/2014

instructionsAn instruction book for any adventure you might want or need to take into fairyland or fantasy. Aimed at children and very brief with beautiful illustrations. I enjoyed the story though and think that adults will recognize fairy tales where the main characters didn’t follow the rules and bad things happened.

31. March 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Melody, Romance

Sempre: Redemption by J.M. Darhower, read by Melody, on 03/29/2014

In this thrilling and sexy follow-up to Sempre, two young lovers struggle to keep their relationship intact after they become deeply enmeshed in the dangerous mafia-run crime ring they once tried to overthrow.

Haven Antonelli and Carmine DeMarco have been through a lot. Haven was taken in by Carmine’s father, and with his family’s help, she escaped a gruesome fate. However, saving Haven from the dark intentions of a mafia family cost Carmine a steep price: he was forced to swear loyalty to them.

Now, still passionately in love, Carmine and Haven must face the fall-out of Carmine’s forced service, as Haven discovers terrifying secrets about the family that enslaved both her and her mother—and why she matters so much in this intricate web of lies.

31. March 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Fantasy, Fiction, Paranormal, Tammy, Teen Books · Tags:

Beautiful Chaos: Caster Chronicles # 3 by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl, read by Tammy, on 03/28/2014

beautiful chaosEthan and Lena have survived her sixteenth birthday without Lena being claimed by dark magic in spite of her family’s curse. Then on her 17th birthday she claims her self as both dark and light magic but this choice has far reaching consequences. Both the mortal and the caster world is thrown out of order. Now, before someone’s 18th birthday a choice and a sacrifice must be made to save both worlds. Lena and Ethan’s family search for the answer of who or what will need to be sacrificed and if it’s a who, can they be saved?

31. March 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Fantasy, Fiction, Teen Books · Tags:

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo, read by Angie, on 03/30/2014

Alina grew up an orphan in Ravka. She joined the army with her best friend Mal. Mal became a tracker and Alina a cartographer. On a mission to cross the Fold, an evil darkness filled with monsters, they are attacked and saved by Alina. Alina suddenly has powers she didn’t know she had. She is the one and only sun-summoner Grisha and must be protected at all costs. She is taken to the Little Palace by the Darkling, the most powerful Grisha in Ravka, to be trained. She falls under the spell of the beautiful Grisha and the intriguing Darkling. But when she is told everything isn’t as it seems she runs away to save herself and Ravka.

I really enjoyed the Russian feel to this book. I was very glad I listened to it instead of reading it so I didn’t have to worry how all the Russian-sounding words were pronounced! However, I found the book fairly formulaic and didn’t feel like it covered any new ground. I was bored by Alina’s continued doubts about herself and her obsession with the beautiful Grisha. I did like the fact that the love story didn’t really become a love triangle and I enjoyed Mal and Alina’s relationship. There were some exciting battle scenes and the ending was fairly satisfying, but I didn’t think there was anything special about the book and don’t feel compelled to read any of the others in the series.

31. March 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Nikki, Romance

A Tragic Wreck by T.K. Leigh, read by Nikki, on 03/31/2014

18215147How can you continue living when you’re living a lie? How can you convince your body to stop feeling, your soul to stop caring, and your heart to stop beating?

Haunted by her past, Olivia Adler flees Boston for a beach in Florida, leaving everyone behind, trying to shut the world out. Remaining a relative recluse in her self-imposed prison, she tries to turn everything off, wanting to feel nothing. But a new acquaintance won’t let that happen. After being away from Alexander for a month, his voice constantly ringing in her head, reminding her that her inability to confront her demons will not only destroy her, but also him, can she really be expected to want to feel again when it brings nothing but pain?

Back in Boston, everywhere he turns, Alexander Burnham is reminded of Olivia… His Olivia… He tries to dull the ache left in his heart the only way he knows how… in the bed of a beautiful woman. But Alexander isn’t about to lose his Olivia. After a clue comes to light regarding Olivia’s whereabouts, can he convince her to return to Boston with him? When a force that has laid dormant for months resurfaces, can Alexander still protect her from the unknown danger? And when Alexander comes face to face with a shadow of both his and Olivia’s past, will he be able to tell her the secret that is threatening to tear them apart?

31. March 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Nikki, Romance

A Beautiful Mess by T.K. Leigh, read by Nikki, on 03/22/2014

71Zgif+iAHL._SL1500_What happens when you lose everyone that promised they would always be there for you? How can you protect the few pieces of your shattered heart that remain?

Olivia Adler is a woman with a troubled past. After losing her parents at the young age of six and being raised by an uncle who she lost years later, she refuses to get attached to anyone, including friends. For the past decade, she has been able to remain unattached to any man, too worried about losing someone to get too close. Until Alexander Burnham walks into her life one night and changes everything. But he has issues of his own. And he’s keeping a secret that could turn her world upside-down. Will Olivia let Alexander in enough for him to get close and protect her from a force threatening her very existence, or will she push him away, scared of letting Alexander in, in order to protect her heart?

30. March 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Judy, Thriller/Suspense

The Other Daughter by Lisa Gardner, read by Judy, on 03/30/2014

Twenty years ago, Melanie Stokes was abandoned in a Boston Hospital, then adopted by a wealthy young couple.  Gifted with loving parents, a doting brother, and an indulgent uncle, Melanie has always considered herself lucky.  Until tonight.

Tonight, a has-been reporter turns up, investigating her past.  Tonight, the first note arrives, saying, “You get what you deserve”.  And tonight Melanie has her first, horrifying vision of the past.

Melanie has no memory of her life before the adoption.  Now someone wants to give it back, even if it includes the darkest nightmare the Stokes family ever faced:    the murder of their first daughter in Texas.  As Melanie pursues every lead, chases every shadow in search of her real identity, two seemingly unrelated events from her past will come together in a dangerous explosion of the truth.

28. March 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Children's Books, Fiction, Paranormal

The Strangers by Jacqueline West, read by Angie, on 03/27/2014

This is the fourth book in the Elsewhere series. Olive Dunwoody lives in a magical house. The house used to belong to the McMartins, a family of powerful magicians who all died. The house is filled with magical paintings that lead to Elsewhere. With a special pair of glasses, Olive can enter the paintings and go to Elsewhere. In a previous book in the series, Adolphus McMartin and Annabelle McMartin both escaped from their paintings. They want the house and its magic back. In this book, Olive’s parents are kidnapped and a family of magicians come to town to help her. Olive has to figure out where her parents are and who she can trust.

I think my appreciation for this book would have been higher if I had read more than the first book of the series. I found the villains in this tale fairly predictable. However, the action was good and I am sure fans of this series were quite happy with how the story played out.

28. March 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Children's Books, Contemporary Fiction, Fiction

I Even Funnier by James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein, read by Angie, on 03/25/2014

Jamie Grimm wants to be the “funniest kid on the planet”. He is on his way to achieving his goal after winning the funniest kid in Boston contest. He just needs to win the regionals and move on. Jamie pulls his humor from the things around him which don’t seem funny on the surface. Jamie is in a wheelchair after an accident that killed his parents and little sister. He now lives with his aunt and uncle and a horrible cousin who bullies him all the time. Thankfully he has a good group of supportive friends and another uncle who helps him prepare for the competition.

I didn’t read I Funny: A Middle School Story so I didn’t have all the background on these characters. However, I think this is a book that will appeal to kids, especially fans of Diary of a Wimpy Kid. The humor is pretty good and the story is interesting enough to keep kids reading. I thought the turn-around of the bully was a little too good, but other than that the story was fine. Not my favorite, but not horrible either.

28. March 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Jessica, Romance

Gabriel's Inferno by Sylvain Reynard, read by Jessica, on 03/27/2014

Enigmatic and sexy, Professor Gabriel Emerson is a well respected Dante specialist by day, but by night he devotes himself to an uninhibited life of pleasure. He uses his notorious good looks and sophisticated charm to gratify his every whim, but is secretly tortured by his dark past and consumed by the profound belief that he is beyond all hope of redemption.

When the sweet and innocent Julia Mitchell enrolls as his graduate student, his attraction and mysterious connection to her not only jeopardizes his career, but sends him on a journey in which his past and his present collide.

An intriguing and sinful exploration of seduction, forbidden love and redemption, “Gabriel’s Inferno” is a captivating and wildly passionate tale of one man’s escape from his own personal hell as he tries to earn the impossible…forgiveness and love.

28. March 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Melody, Romance

Sempre by J.M. Darhower, read by Melody, on 03/26/2014

Haven Antonelli and Carmine DeMarco had vastly different childhoods. Haven, a second-generation slave, grew up isolated in the middle of the desert, her days full of hard work and terrifying abuse. Carmine, born into a wealthy Mafia family, lived a life of privilege, never having to answer for anything he did.

Both now seventeen, a twist of fate causes their worlds to collide, making them question everything they ever believed. Entangled in a web of secrets and lies, they learn that while different on the surface, they have more in common than anyone would think.

27. March 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Kira, Women's Fiction (chick lit) · Tags:

Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen, read by Kira, on 03/24/2014

What a delightful wonderful tale!   Sarah Addison Allen’s writing is a bit like Anne Tyler’s, but with a little magical realism and and little more optimism thrown in.  I liked how you got to know each character’s back story, how they became who they are.  I liked the ending though pLost lakeersonally, I could see it coming.  And the book had a positive impact lost lon my bodlake losty  cypress kneeslo lk  devons wingslots lake lot lakeimage.    lost lkeLost lake fwaking Kate

25. March 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Award Winner, Children's Books, Fiction, Historical Fiction, Multicultural Fiction, Rachel

All-of-a-kind Family by Sydney Taylor, read by Rachel, on 03/24/2014

This was a pretty cute book. Reminded me of an urban Little House on the Prairie. I loved the detailed description of Jewish holidays. Make sure you don’t read those sections on an empty stomach…the food descriptions were very well written!

It’s the turn of the century in New York’s Lower East Side and a sense of adventure and excitement abounds for five young sisters – Ella, Henny, Sarah, Charlotte and Gertie. Follow along as they search for hidden buttons while dusting Mama’s front parlor, or explore the basement warehouse of Papa’s peddler’s shop on rainy days. The five girls enjoy doing everything together, especially when it involves holidays and surprises. But no one could have prepared them for the biggest surprise of all!

25. March 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Judy, Thriller/Suspense

Unseen by Karin Slaughter, read by Judy, on 03/25/2014

Will Trent is a Georgia Bureau of Investigation agent, working undercover in Macon, Georgia, posing as Bill Black, a scary ex-con who trails an air of violence wherever he goes.  The cover has worked and he has caught the eye of a wiry little drug dealer who thinks he might be a useful ally.  But there’s a problem.  Cut off from the support of the woman he loves, Sara Linton, Will finds his demons catching up with him.   Although she has no idea where Will has gone, or why, Sara herself has come to Macon because of a cop shooting.  Her stepson, Jared, has been gunned down.    Suddenly Sara finds herself involved in the same case that Will is working without even knowing it – with danger swirling around both of them.    A novel of fierce intensity, shifting allegiances, and shocking twists.  Unseen pits detectives, lovers, and enemies against one another in an unforgettable standoff between righteous courage and deepest evil.

In addition the book provides a short story called “Busted” featuring Will Trent again in the role of Bill Black.   As with the first story, Busted keeps you in suspense.

25. March 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Contemporary Fiction, Fiction, Noelle · Tags: , , ,

The Borrower by Rebecca Makkai, read by Noelle, on 03/18/2014

This book was not bad, but I was hoping it would be a little more exciting and quirky.  I also could have used a little less of the narrator’s self loathing rants.

In this delightful, funny, and moving first novel, a librarian and a young boy obsessed with reading take to the road. Lucy Hull, a young children’s librarian in Hannibal, Missouri, finds herself both a kidnapper and kidnapped when her favorite patron, ten- year-old Ian Drake, runs away from home. The precocious Ian is addicted to reading, but needs Lucy’s help to smuggle books past his overbearing mother, who has enrolled Ian in weekly antigay classes with celebrity Pastor Bob. Lucy stumbles into a moral dilemma when she finds Ian camped out in the library after hours with a knapsack of provisions and an escape plan. Desperate to save him from Pastor Bob and the Drakes, Lucy allows herself to be hijacked by Ian. The odd pair embarks on a crazy road trip from Missouri to Vermont, with ferrets, an inconvenient boyfriend, and upsetting family history thrown in their path. But is it just Ian who is running away? Who is the man who seems to be on their tail? And should Lucy be trying to save a boy from his own parents?