Friday, November 30, 2012

Quote of the Day

“Time is priceless, but it’s Free. You can't own it, you can use it. You can spend it. But you can't keep it. Once you've lost it you can never get it back.” 
― Audrey NiffeneggerThe Time Traveler's Wife

The Perfect Hope

The Perfect Hope (Inn BoonsBoro Trilogy, #3)

Synopsis from Goodreads:
Ryder is the hardest Montgomery brother to figure out—with a tough-as-nails outside and possibly nothing too soft underneath. He’s surly and unsociable, but when he straps on a tool belt, no woman can resist his sexy swagger. Except apparently Hope Beaumont, the innkeeper of his own Inn BoonsBoro…

As the former manager of a D.C. hotel, Hope is used to excitement and glamour, but that doesn’t mean she can’t appreciate the joys of small-town living. She’s where she wants to be—except for in her love life. Her only interaction with the opposite sex has been sparring with the infuriating Ryder, who always seems to get under her skin. Still, no one can deny the electricity that crackles between them…a spark that ignited with a New Year’s Eve kiss.

While the Inn is running smoothly, thanks to Hope’s experience and unerring instincts, her big-city past is about to make an unwelcome—and embarrassing—appearance. Seeing Hope vulnerable stirs up Ryder’s emotions and makes him realize that while Hope may not be perfect, she just might be perfect for him…

The Perfect Hope is the perfect title for this book because that’s exactly what it was. I have been eagerly waiting Hope and Ryder’s story since reading the first book in this trilogy The Next Always. I knew this was going to be my favorite and I was right, (although I loved all of the books) Hope and Ryder just captivated me from the moment they met.

Ryder was standoffish towards Hope from the first time they met even though you can feel the attraction simmering in the air between them. I was pleasantly surprised with how Nora chose to get these two together, I thought it was going to be predictable and not at all like the characters. I should never have underestimated her though, she knows these characters and their relationship takes off exactly how it should have.

I love that Nora can show the evolution of a relationship without using the clichés of the genre. When Hope’s ex comes calling with a proposition, the story could have taken the long, tedious road of miscommunication and distrust but Hope and Ryder’s story overcomes these clichés.

I was enthralled with Lizzie’s story since book one and I loved seeing the conclusion to her story. It added a nice air of mystery and love-lost love - found to the mix and never took away from the main story but complimented each of the characters and the re-habbing of the Inn.

My only complaint is that I would have liked to see more of Hope and Ryder as a couple. I always love seeing beloved characters from previous novels and how their love is flourishing, but not at the cost of the current couple. There were a lot of situations that were family oriented and while I did enjoy, I would have liked to see Hope and Ryder one on one.

I’m simultaneously thrilled with the last book and disappointed the trilogy is over. This trilogy has been Nora at her best and I can definitely say one of my all-time favorites. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for us devoted readers next.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Coffee and Conversation

It feels like I haven't been on here in ages - and apparently I haven't. I've been so busy the last few weeks between personal stuff and getting ready for the holidays that I've neglected my blog.

I realized on Monday that I hadn't read a book in five days - not even a page! That's just wrong and completely unlike me. I always manage to squeeze in at least a few minutes here and there but again, swamped with Thanksgiving cooking and then Christmas decorating and shopping, reading took a back seat.
Last night I finally started Live by Night and I'm really into it so far.

While I was away, the new Stephanie Plum, Notorious Nineteen hit shelves. I managed to snag my copy while Black Friday shopping (along with a few more).

I finally picked up Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall and Bring up the Bodies. I'm really excited to read these, I've always been interested in English history and Henry VIII's reign is a very bloody, malicious time in their history. These will be perfect reads for cold winter nights.

While Cyber Monday perusing the internet, I happened to see Sylvia Day has a new book out today, Ask For It. It's actually a re-print of a historical originally published in 2006. I'm curious to see if anyone has read it and get your thoughts. Is it worth the read?

What about you, how were your holidays? Anyone manage to get new reading done or buy any new books?

Quote of the Day

“People always think that happiness is a faraway thing," thought Francie, "something complicated and hard to get. Yet, what little things can make it up; a place of shelter when it rains - a cup of strong hot coffee when you're blue; for a man, a cigarette for contentment; a book to read when you're alone - just to be with someone you love. Those things make happiness.” 
― Betty SmithA Tree Grows in Brooklyn

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Quote of the Day

For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Quote of the Day

“I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.” 
― Jorge Luis Borges

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Quote of the Day

“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.” 
― Douglas AdamsThe Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul

A Drink Before the War

A Drink Before the War (Kenzie & Gennaro, #1)Patrick Kenzie and Angie Gennaro are private detectives hired to find missing documents for a Senator. The case seems pretty clear cut and an easy payday for the team but once they find the missing cleaning lady, Jenna Angeline, all hell breaks loose and the case doesn’t seem clear cut anymore.

Friends since childhood, Patrick and Angie are most definitely battling feelings for each other but tough as nails Angie is married to an abusive man that some part of her still loves.

I decided to give Lehane’s detective series a try after falling all over the place about The Given Day. Before I finished A Drink Before the War, I was rushing to the bookstore to grab up the second book in the series. I should have grabbed the third too because it’s not going to last long.

It’s hard not to love Patrick and Angie. Both are flawed and suffer both physical and mental scars from their past. They are both bad ass, dedicated to their jobs and have a mutual dislike for bad guys.

The case seems to be going in pretty straight forward and Patrick and Angie have little trouble finding Jenna, but once they do, they discover this case is deeper than either of them imagined and their sense of justice, of righteousness, is put to the test.

The plot develops the characters of Patrick and Angie and they battle demons of their past and present. They are humanized and both of their feelings are always bubbling at the surface.  I loved the dialogue and the chemistry between the two. Their chemistry adds not only to the plot but to the sexual tension bubbling between them.

The story was fast-paced and filled with the right amount of twists and turns to keep the story interesting. In addition to Patrick and Angie, there is Bubba, their sociopathic, heavily armed friend; and the city of Boston, portrayed in a dark and gritty light, becomes a character in itself.

Lehane’s writing is sharp, filled with dark humor and old time noir. I loved this book and I’m looking forward to reading more by Lehane in the future.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

A Walk in the Park

A Walk in the Park

Lara Carson has just returned home to Bath after being away for eighteen years and she has a big secret.
Evie is thrilled Lara is back, they were best friends years ago and Lara is just in time to see Evie get married. But will Evie marry Joel?

Flynn Erksine was Lara’s long-ago boyfriend and he has never forgotten her. Will he be able to forgive her when her secret is revealed?

A Walk in the Park is Jill Mansell’s latest and focuses on second chances. As always in a Mansell novel, it is filled with a wonderful cast of supporting characters.

The book focuses on Lara, home to Bath after eighteen years, the secret she’s been keeping and her relationship with Flynn.

At first I thought Lara is so self-righteous, when she reveals her secret to Flynn and tries to turn the tables and be angry at him. I felt he had every right to feel and say what he did. She does eventually grow on me, but it took me some time to get past what I thought of as her un-justified anger.

I always love the secondary characters in Mansell’s books and A Walk in the Park was no exception. I just loved Evie and her story.  Evie is open and honest, what you see is what you get.  After her disastrous almost wedding, I loved the evolution of her character, she wasn’t what I expected and she did things I didn’t expect. I really liked Evie and I loved how her story played out.

The problem I usually find in Mansell’s books is the cast of secondary characters takes away from the main characters and their story. I loved all of these characters and their stories but I feel Lara and Flynn’s story was left wanting. They have a shared history and eighteen years to catch up on. I am willing to believe they never got over each other and they have something that connects them now but they needed more time to re-connect.

Overall, I did really enjoy A Walk in the Park and any Mansell fan will appreciate this latest. 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Book Club Pick

I've been on a Dennis Lehane kick for awhile now and I've spent time devouring his books and loving them so much so what better book to choose for November than Lehane's latest.

Live by Night is the second in a slated trilogy, the first book being Any Given Day, which I loved to pieces. This second novel focuses on Joe Coughlin, the youngest brother.
Live by Night
Synopsis from Goodreads:
BOSTON, 1926. The '20s are roaring. Liquor is flowing, bullets are flying, and one man sets out to make his mark on the world.

Prohibition has given rise to an endless network of underground distilleries, speakeasies, gangsters, and corrupt cops. Joe Coughlin, the youngest son of a prominent Boston police captain, has long since turned his back on his strict and proper upbringing. Now having graduated from a childhood of petty theft to a career in the pay of the city’s most fearsome mobsters, Joe enjoys the spoils, thrills, and notoriety of being an outlaw.

But life on the dark side carries a heavy price. In a time when ruthless men of ambition, armed with cash, illegal booze, and guns, battle for control, no one—neither family nor friend, enemy nor lover—can be trusted. Beyond money and power, even the threat of prison, one fate seems most likely for men like Joe: an early death. But until that day, he and his friends are determined to live life to the hilt.

Joe embarks on a dizzying journey up the ladder of organized crime that takes him from the flash of Jazz Age Boston to the sensual shimmer of Tampa’s Latin Quarter to the sizzling streets of Cuba. Live by Night is a riveting epic layered with a diverse cast of loyal friends and callous enemies, tough rumrunners and sultry femmes fatales, Bible-quoting evangelists and cruel Klansmen, all battling for survival and their piece of the American dream. At once a sweeping love story and a compelling saga of revenge, it is a spellbinding tour de force of betrayal and redemption, music and murder, that brings fully to life a bygone era when sin was cause for celebration and vice was a national virtue

Quote of the Day

“I love books, by the way, way more than movies. Movies tell you what to think. A good book lets you choose a few thoughts for yourself. Movies show you the pink house. A good book tells you there's a pink house and lets you paint some of the finishing touches, maybe choose the roof style,park your own car out front. ” 
― Karen Marie MoningDarkfever

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Exciting News

What a day. I was already on a book high with two exciting new releases out today (can't wait for a late night trip to the book store!) and now I just read even more exciting news - Starz has signed the deal to make the Outlander series a TV show!

If you read my blog you know Outlander is my all-time favorite series. I am obsessed with these books so I am thrilled I will be able to watch Jamie and Claire's story unfold on my tv (and make my husband watch as well!).

It's still a long way from being made and I hope the writer does justice to this amazing story not to mention I believe casting is crucial to making this work for the millions of fans out there with definite ideas on Jamie and Claire's appearance. My fingers are crossed but I am super excited.

You can read the full story here courtesy of Deadline.

New Releases

There is nothing better than a Tuesday of new book releases to a book lover and today is an exciting day for me. Two of my favorite romance authors are releasing the final book in their trilogies:

The Perfect Hope is the third book in the Inn Boonsboro trilogy by Nora Roberts and a book I've been waiting to get my hands on for months. I have a feeling Hope and Ryder's story is going to be the best in the trilogy. 

The Perfect Hope (Inn Boonsboro Trilogy, #3)Synopsis from Goodreads:
The Montgomery brothers and their eccentric mother are breathing new life into the town of Boonsboro, Maryland, by restoring its historic hotel. And they’re finding their own lives revamped by love. This is Ryder’s story... Ryder is the hardest Montgomery brother to figure out — with a tough-as-nails outside and possibly nothing too soft underneath. He’s surly and unsociable, but when he straps on a tool belt, no woman can resist his sexy swagger. Except apparently Hope Beaumont, the innkeeper of his own Inn BoonsBoro. And though the Inn is running smoothly, thanks to Hope’s experience and unerring instincts, her big-city past is about to make an unwelcome — and embarrassing — appearance. Seeing Hope vulnerable stirs up Ryder’s emotions and makes him realize that while Hope may not be perfect, she just might be perfect for him..

Rescue My Heart is the final book in the Animal Magnetism trilogy by Jill Shalvis. The first two books were great and I expect nothing less from Adam's story.

Rescue My Heart (Animal Magnetism, #3)Synopsis from Goodreads:
After a tragic stint in the National Guards, Adam Connelly returns to Idaho and to Belle Haven, the animal shelter he owns with his brothers. All Adam wants is to be alone. Then he opens the door to the past—the woman whose heart he once broke. Still gorgeous, still tough-as-nails, but this time, unusually vulnerable.

Holly Reid learned the hard way to never depend on a man for anything. Now, of all men, it’s the last one she wants to see, and the only one she needs. Her father has gone missing in the Bitterroot Mountains and she could use someone with tracking skills to help find him.

For Holly and Adam, each with their ghosts, a trek this desperate, this unpredictable, and this intimate, will have its share of risks—including opening their hearts one more time.

Monday, November 5, 2012

The Witness

The Witness

Elizabeth Fitch’s life has been designed and laid out for her since she was a child. She’s been a model daughter and student, never straying from her mother’s aspirations for her- until a moment of teenage rebellion that will have devastating consequences for Elizabeth and change her life forever.

Twelve years later Abigail Lowery lives a quiet, solitary life in a small town in the Ozarks. She is a freelance computer programmer and security designer and she keeps her own house a fortress, backed up by an arsenal and her dog.

Brooks Gleason loves puzzles and Abigail is a puzzle that intrigues him. He figures she’s running from something and he’s determined to find out her secrets and get to know the quiet beauty.

The Witness started slow for me and took me a little while to get into but eventually it picked up the pace and I was hooked. I loved Abigail from the beginning. She is a socially awkward genius and handles conversations and situations quite literally. She reminded me of the character Amy Farrah Fowler from The Big Bang Theory. She was endearing and sweet with a quiet determination and a big heart.

Brooks was the typical hero; Abigail catches his eye and he is snared. He wants to know more and once she opens her door to him, he falls the rest of the way. He is patient and caring with Abigail and he makes it clear he knows she’s running from something but he gives her the time and space she needs to trust him with her secrets. Brooks is loyal and fiercely protective of those he loves and when he figures out he loves Abigail, there is no stopping him until she is safe again.

The Witness is a romantic suspense and while the beginning of the novel and the break at part one is suspenseful, I spent the rest of the book waiting for the standoff with the bad guys and in the end it wasn’t much of a climax. It was suspenseful in a way but Abigail was so prepared for every eventuality, but there were a few turns I didn’t expect.

I really enjoyed The Witness. I think Nora has created one of her most original characters with Abigail and I loved her slow descent into love and normalcy. Brooks was a genre mainstay and while I liked him, I think Abigail overshadowed him.  But there’s a reason Nora is a romance superstar, The Witness was her 200th book. Any Nora fan will love this latest.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Quote of the Day

“When the day shall come that we do part," he said softly, and turned to look at me, "if my last words are not 'I love you'-ye'll ken it was because I didna have time.” 
― Diana Gabaldon