26. February 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Robin, Romance · Tags:

If You See Her by Shiloh Walker, 400 pages, read by Robin, on 02/04/2012

This is the second in a series of books that focus on a small town with a serial killer problem. In the first book, Shiloh Walker introduced us to a blind woman who heard the killer as he was attacking a woman. This book focuses on an abused woman who has enough of her own problems, apparently, as the killer is mentioned in her book, but rarely seen… The story is good and I’m eagerly awaiting the third book in the series – Shiloh manages to string the suspense along in a way that keeps my attention throughout both books while putting the main emphasis on the couple who “star” in each book. This is an enjoyable romance and something light and easy to read while still being interesting enough to hold your attention.

26. February 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Paranormal, Robin, Romance · Tags:

Eternal Captive: Mark of the Vampire by Laura Wright, 384 pages, read by Robin, on 02/12/2012

Eternal Captive
This is the 3rd book in the Mark Of The Vampire series by Laura Wright. If you are a fan of the J.R. Ward Brotherhood series, you will see a lot of similarities in the stories – but they are different enough to still be quite interesting. This story focuses on Lucien, the youngest of the Roman Brothers, and his quest for his mate and his desire to not end up like his father, the “breeding male” who felt nothing but the desire to make more little vampires.

This story, along with the first two in the series, was well written and kept my interest through the whole thing. It was enjoyable and kept me entertained throughout the whole book.

23. February 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Paranormal, Robin, Romance

How to marry a millionaire vampire by Kerrelyn Sparks, 384 pages, read by Robin, on 02/19/2012

How to marry a millionaire vampireThis is the first book in the “Love At Stake” series. The premise of the book is that there are a group of vampires, led by alpha-men heroes who battle the “Malcontents” who still insist on biting their victims. The hero of this book, Roman, has created a line of synthetic blood (some of which is used for humans) for the good vampires to drink. This makes him the millionaire vampire of the title. It’s clear that the book is intended to be funny, and there are some amusing parts, but the humor gets silly after a while and the heroine is a nit-wit. To make Shanna, our heroine in the novel, funny, the author also makes her unbearably silly. The story itself is ok, and I plan to read (and review) the second in the series, but if it’s no better than this one, that will be the end of the series for me.

The romance was not all that satisfyingly written, the humor sometimes fell flat and the sexual tension in the book was pretty much non-existant.

23. February 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Paranormal, Robin, Romance

Last Man Standing by Cindy Gerard, 368 pages, read by Robin, on 02/03/2012

This is the last of the books in the Black Ops Series by Cindy Gerard. This book continues a relationship started back in a previous novel (Feel The Heat) between Stephanie and “Mean” Joe Green, one of the Black Ops team members. The book begins with Joe breaking up with Stephanie and heading off to what he feels is a suicide mission to avenge the death of his buddy (and Stephanie’s brother), Bryan. Stephanie, being a romance heroine, doesn’t just pine for Joe – she figures out what he’s doing, heads to Africa and rescues him. The story is well-paced and exciting, the romance is sweet (with some sexy thrown in, of course) and the plot is both believable and thrilling at times. Stephanie manages to grow into the perfect partner for a guy named “Mean” Joe and Joe manages to lose a bit of the “hero” shine and lets her do some of the rescuing herself. This is a nice story with lots of heart and it was a fast and easy read.

23. February 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Robin, Romance

My Wicked LIttle Lies by Victoria Alexander, 352 pages, read by Robin, on 02/16/2012

My Wicked Little Lies  This book was a nice, easy, light read that was a bit different than the typical historical romance. When the book begins, Evelyn (the heroine) is already married to the hero, Adrian. They’ve been married for two years and are quite happy, even though they both are reluctant to discuss their lives before they met. For good reason, so they think, because they were both spies for the British government. Adrian knows that Evelyn was a spy, Evelyn does not know that Adrian was the mysterious “Sir” that she recieved her instructions and the occaional flirty message from while she was a spy. The story, then, is the revelation of Evelyn and Adrian’s slightly notorious pasts and the misunderstandings and miscommunications that happen along the way. The story was entertaining, the characters mostly believable and sympathetic. The romance, because the characters had been married for two years, was a bit unorthodox, but still satisfying for those who want a true love story.

23. February 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: NonFiction, Robin, Science

Panic In Level 4: Cannibals, Killer Viruses, and Other Journeys to the Edge of Science by Richard Preston, 240 pages, read by Robin, on 02/21/2012

Panic In Level 4
I listened to this book as an audiobook and it did a pretty good job of keeping me entertained while I drove around town over the course of a week or so. The book covers some of the author’s experiences while writing non-fiction pieces (books and magazine articles) over the years. It returns to his famous Hot Zone book about an Ebola virus outbreak in the United States and discusses his feelings while in the hot zone of the level 4 biohazard labs of USAMRIID (U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases). That is a pretty short section, followed by a much longer (too long, perhaps) section on a pair of brothers who are working on calculating the digits of pi (3.14….) to ever-increasing precision in order to find some pattern or order in the number. There were some interesting parts to their story – their homemade super-computers were interesting, but this section took up more of the book than I was completely happy to hear… The final section of the book – about a genetic disease that causes sufferers to literally cannibalize themselves (left to their own devices, they eat off their fingertips, lips and whatever else they can get into their mouths) – was very interesting. Not something I would want to read or listen to while eating, but a fascinating glimpse of the ravages that small changes in our DNA codes can make in a human being. The book was, overall, interesting and it kept my attention, but the middle part seemed to drag on a bit. I would recommend it for anyone who is interested in scientific oddities, though – it had its truly fascinating moments.

30. January 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Paranormal, Robin, Romance · Tags: ,

Whispers In The Dark by Maya Banks, 333 pages, read by Robin, on 01/29/2012

Whispers in the DarkIn this installation of the KGI Series (Kelly Group International), Maya Banks gives us Nathan’s story – one of the Kelly brothers who make up the various stories in this series. The action begins with Nathan in a cave somewhere in Afghanistan, being tortured by terrorists. In the midst of this torture, he connects (telepathically) with a woman named Shea who is able to take some of his pain from him. She is instrumental in getting him out of the terrorists hands, but then cuts all mental contact – until she finds herself in need of help. Nathan goes rushing off to help her and the action never really lets up after that. This was one of those books that I gulped down in a single day – I was drawn in by the story and happy to find out what had happened to the other brothers whose stories I’d read before. It looks like the stories will branch out a bit – Rio (not a Kelly brother, but one of the KGI team members) seemed to be quite taken with Shea’s sister, though he only saw her on video for a short time. He took off to find her and protect her from the folks who want to exploit the sisters’ mental powers, so I imagine the next book in the series (or at least one of the next books…) will follow their story.

24. January 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Paranormal, Robin, Romance · Tags:

Spirit Bound by Christine Feehan, 416 pages, read by Robin, on 01/11/2012

Spirit Bound

23. January 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Paranormal, Robin, Romance · Tags: , ,

Water Bound by Christine Feehan, 488 pages, read by Robin, on 01/01/2012

Water BoundOne of the best parts of this book is the heroine, Rikki, and the way she deals with both her Autism and a new man in her life – one that won’t be pushed aside and is willing to do what it takes to make her comfortable with him. In the beginning of the book, Rikki rescues Lev, the hero, from the sea while she is diving for sea urchins. She figures that she found him in the sea, therefore by the laws of the sea, he is her responsibility. The story, from there, is almost your typical romance, except for the issues created by Rikki’s somewhat severe Autism and her paranormal ability to manipulate water. There is a lot of excitement and action (and a bit of sex, too – though it’s pretty mild) and the story sets up the rest of the “Bound” series by introducing Rikki’s “sisters” (not actually related), each of whom seems to be bound to a different element. If the rest of the series is as good, this will be a great way to get some fun and escapist reading done!

23. January 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Fairy Tales and Folklore, Fiction, Robin, Romance

When Beauty Tamed The Beast by Eloisa James, 372 pages, read by Robin, on 01/04/2012

When Beauty Tamed The BeastIn this retelling of the Beauty and the Beast fairy tale, Eloisa James gives us a lovely tale of a breathtakingly lovely woman who falls for an injured and “beastly” man (think Dr. House – Eloisa said in the afterward that he was an inspiration for her hero). The story is well told with enough witty dialogue to make those of us who like sarcastic, bordering-on-nasty heros swoon. There is some explicit sex, though the scenes are fairly short and tastefully written. This was a fun read – quick, too! – and well worth the time I spent immersing myself in the story.

18. January 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Informational Book, NonFiction, Robin

Moneyball by Michael Lewis, 317 pages, read by Robin, on 01/02/2012

MoneyballI listened to this book instead of actually reading it, and I think that was probably a good idea. The book is about Billy Beane, a former baseball player who became the General Manager of the Oakland A’s baseball team. The A’s were the worst-funded team in baseball – they had no money to buy good players, but Billy (and his assistant, an ivy-league trained economist) decided to use a different method to pick players. Instead of going with players that looked good to the scouts, they used a computer program to analyze players that were actually going to be able to get on base – regardless of how they looked to the “traditional” scouting teams.
The idea was a success – the first year they put the method in practice, the A’s broke their league’s winning streak record, winning 20 games in a row and got to the World Series – though they didn’t win it. The book goes into detail about the method they used and can get a little dry with the math and statistics, but the reader for this audiobook did a good job of making even the stats sections accessible.
The book is more about math and statistics than baseball, but of course there is a lot of information about players and teams and games included in the narrative as well. I enjoyed this book, even through the somewhat dry parts when math and statistics were being discussed at length – this is a book that can appeal to both math nerds and baseball fans!