Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Remains of the Dead by Wendy Roberts (thoughts)

From Goodreads:

"Sadie Novak's got the kind of job that kills cocktail chatter dead: she owns Scene-2-Clean a crime scene cleanup company. And if wiping up after murders weren't spooky enough, she can also see and talk to the ghosts of the victims...

When grieving relatives hire Sadie and her employee, ex-cop Zack Bowman, to clean up after the murder-suicide of Trudy and Grant Toth, Sadie figures she's bound to meet at least one chatty ghost. But Kent, the man Sadie first encounters at the scene, is very much alive--so much so, that Sadie soon finds herself agreeing to a date with him.

Then a real ghost shows up--the oddly silent spirit of Trudy, who seems determined to prove that her husband's innocence, and inspires Sadie to track down the real killer. But as she scours the crime scene, Sadie quickly realizes she's in way over her head, that Kent has a strange connection to the dead couple, and that someone wants her to give up the ghost...for good."

My Thoughts:

Hmm....I'm kind of stuck on what to say about this one. I was in the mood for a cozy mystery and I always enjoy the paranormal so I figured that I would end up loving this book. I ended up liking it but not loving it like I expected. Sadie has a job that no one wants to do and a "skill" that no one would believe in if she told them about it. Her only employee Zach knows that she is able to "talk" to ghosts but chooses to ignore the fact that she does. Sadie begins a new cleanup job and gets involved in the mystery surrounding the death. So this book was interesting in the fact that it is completely unusual. Sadie's job and her ability to communicate with the dead are different than what is out there relating to the paranormal. The mystery that she found herself caught up in was fascinating as the ghost wouldn't actually "speak" to Sadie. Sadie was left to trying to figure out herself what the ghost was trying to communicate which turned out to be a dangerous job for her. There was an instant chemistry between Sadie and Zach that left me intrigued. It was hinted at a couple of different times but nothing really panned out so I'll have to wait and see what happens in future books.

Although I enjoyed the mystery and the unique storyline, I never really found myself caught up within the story. I was a bit disconnected at times and found that I wasn't actually too worried about who the bad guy was. That being said, by the end I found my reading groove and didn't want to put it down. The ending was a bit of a surprise which is always a positive. All in all, a good read but it just wasn't my favorite. I'm still planning on continuing on with the series and hopefully it will get better as it goes on. Recommended but with a few reservations.

Bottom Line: An interesting read but not my favorite.

Disclosure: I checked this one out from my local library.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Let It Snow

(Picture taken last winter)

We are waiting quite impatiently for some snow this winter......and crossing our fingers for a white Christmas. I will probably be offline for most of the rest of this week so I hope you all have a wonderful holiday! Merry Christmas from my family to yours :)

Friday, December 16, 2011

Creation In Death by J.D. Robb (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"To police lieutenant Eve Dallas and her husband, Roarke, the corpse seemed like a ghoulish personalized greeting card. Not only was the young brunette victim an employee of Eve's billionaire hubby; products from his company were used in the staged crime scene. Dallas recognizes the slaying as the latest handiwork of "The Groom," an arrogant serial killer just returning from a nine-year break. What she doesn't realize immediately is that she herself is targeted as one of his next victims."

My Thoughts:

This series gets harder and harder to review the farther I get in to it because it is next to impossible to not share a spoiler here and there from past books. In this book Eve is up against a killer from a past case that was never solved. The killer seems to be taunting both Eve and Roarke, and it is turning out to be one of her toughest cases yet. What I liked about this book is that we got to see a little bit of Eve's past history as a rookie cop. This wasn't an easy case for Eve (back then and now) and it was a nice change to see her work so closely with Feeney. This series has become a comfort series for me that I go to whenever I need my Roarke and Eve fix or when I'm in the midst of a reading slump. This wasn't my favorite book of the series but it was a solid read.

This is a series that I can't help but recommend. Start at the beginning and watch as the characters grow throughout....I couldn't resist and found myself immersed in the world that Robb has created. Highly recommended!!

Bottom Line: Another great addition to one of my favorite series!

Disclosure: This book was given to me by a friend.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Embrace the Highland Warrior by Anita Clenney (thoughts)

From Goodreads:

"Cody MacBain let the woman of his destiny slip away. A member of an ancient clan of Scottish warriors, he grew up beside Shay Logan as her secret protector, but his heart compelled him to become more. Until Shay’s true identity was revealed, and the fated pair’s chance was gone…

But danger will drive them back into each other’s arms…

Shay fell for the boy next door, suspecting nothing of the ancient secrets he guarded. After a stinging betrayal, she’s determined to banish the memories of her first love forever. But the past can’t let go, and the boy she once loved has returned to her a warrior determined to protect her from the unspeakable evil fate has planned…"

My Thoughts:

Embrace the Highland Warrior was a fun read and an interesting take on the paranormal genre. Shay has lived a life filled with secrets which helped to drive a wedge between her and her childhood friend Cody. The chemistry between these two was instant and unrelenting. I started rooting for them to have a happy ever after from the very beginning of the book. I thought that the author took the paranormal genre and gave it a fresh twist with demons, highland warriors (of course), and even vampires. There was a lot of references to an ancient book that made me wonder if it will play a big part in the next book of the series. Shay was an awesome main character as she was both headstrong and tender at different times. She was surrounded for most of her life by both lies and secrets which came into play in the middle of the story. We got to see that she has some special abilities that hopefully we will learn more about as this series goes on. My only problem with this book was that there were so many characters that we didn't get to learn a lot about. I think that if I had read the first book in the series, this book would have been better for me and I would have enjoyed it more.

All in all, I did think that this was a good read that kept me entertained. I wish that I would have started with the first book, but I think that I'll go back and read it before continuing on with this series. That way I'll get the chance to get a better feel for some of the secondary characters. I would recommend this books to fans of paranormal romance but make sure that you start with Awaken the Highland Warrior!

Bottom Line: A good read and a series that I want to read more of.

Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book for review from the publisher for review.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Library Loot - Last of 2011

Library Loot is hosted by Marg and Claire and asks us to share what we've picked up from the library recently.

I love this time of year when it comes to books. The promise of the upcoming year and all of the great books that are waiting to be published alongside all of the best of 2011 lists. I cannot resist these lists which means I am constantly adding to my TBR wishlist and putting holds on at the library. I have no self control when it comes to books :) I have an obscene number of books checked out from the library right now (and I didn't tell you this but I have 4 holds waiting for me as well) but here is a taste of some of the books I've gotten from the library recently.

I have so many good books checked out from the library that I don't even know where to begin. It looks like 2011 is going to go out with a bang if I get a chance to read some of these. Do you look forward to the best of 2011 lists like I do??? And am I the only one that can't resist and puts a zillion holds on books at my library??? Tell me I'm not the only one :)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Murder at the Vicarage by Agatha Christie (thoughts)

Summary from Amazon:

"The first Miss Marple mystery, one which tests all her powers of observation and deduction.

“Anyone who murdered Colonel Protheroe,” declared the parson, brandishing a carving knife above a joint of roast beef, “would be doing the world at large a favor!”

It was a careless remark for a man of the cloth. And one which was to come back and haunt the clergyman just a few hours later—when the Colonel is found shot dead in the clergyman’s study. But as Miss Marple soon discovers, the whole village seems to have had a motive to kill Colonel Protheroe."

My Thoughts:

Murder at the Vicarage begins with the death of an unliked man where everyone in the village becomes a suspect in his death. This was my 1st Miss Marple read and I found it to be an enjoyable mystery. Agatha Christie was a very talented mystery writer and one of my favorite things about her is her ability to make all of her characters seem guilty at some point. This leads the reader into suspecting anyone and everyone which is exactly what I did :) In the case of this book I guessed the killer at the beginning but Christie had me so turned around as I was reading the book that by the end I didn't even suspect the killer which made the ending still come as a surprise. There was a colorful cast of characters (otherwise known as suspects) that all had reasons for wanting the victim dead that played various roles in the story. My only complaint was that I was taken back a bit by the fact that at times it seemed like Miss Marple didn't play an important role in the mystery that was going on. By the end of the book though, she shines as the reader sees how much of the mystery she was able to solve on her own.

This was a fun mystery that kept me guessing the entire time that I read the book. I'm looking forward to reading more Miss Marple mysteries and hopefully I will read everything that she has written at some point. And although this wasn't my favorite book by Christie, I found it to be a really solid mystery. Recommended!

Bottom Line: A great beginning to the Miss Marple series!

Disclosure: I checked this book out from my local libary ;)

Sunday, December 4, 2011

October and November in Review

This is me still attempting to get a lovely picture of all three kiddos...see how I struggle.)

December is here already and I'm left wondering where the year went. This is the time of the year when many of us mull over and make blogging goals, reading goals, and personal goals for the upcoming year. I'll admit that I've been thinking about it as well as I look forward to 2012. Is everyone else looking back on their 2011 reads and wishing that they could have fit a few more reads in?? There are SO many books that I want to read that came out in 2011 that I haven't had the chance to get my hands on....and there are even more that I am looking forward to reading in the next year. Craziness I tell you :)

October and November were both pretty lousy months of reading for me. It's to be expected though with school, activities, and all of the other fun stuff that comes with this time of year. My kiddos are super excited for Christmas and are having lots of fun looking at Christmas tree lights. I'm thinking that next weekend we might just take a drive to look at all of the lights :) Anyways, here is what I was able to finish in October:

A pretty solid month of reads even if I didn't finish that many books. My favorite of the month was Blood Bound by Rachel Vincent. Her new urban fantasy is dark and gritty....just the way I like it which is why it easily became a new must read series for me :) In November I read the following:

November was also a pretty good month of reading for me in terms of enjoying books. There wasn't a bad book in the bunch during either of these months! My favorite read of November was Dead on the Delta by Stacey Jay. This book was knock my socks off good....another gritty enticing world of urban fantasy that I couldn't get enough of. The 2nd book is coming out in 2012 and I cannot wait to get my greedy little paws on it!

Here is to hoping that December is a great month of reading. I'm looking forward to reading all of the best of 2011 lists and posts that will be coming up in the near future. Hope everyone finishes off this year with a bang!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Lethal by Sandra Brown (thoughts)

Lethal by Sandra Brown begins with a bang as Honor Gillette and her daughter are kidnapped by a man believed to have already killed over six people. He seems to be searching for something and believes that Honor has what he wants. Unfortunately for Honor, she doesn't know what he is looking for and has no idea where to find it. And then she finds out that Lee Coburn isn't the only person that she could be in danger from.

It has been ages since I've read a book by this author and I had forgotten how fast I could fly through them! The book begins almost instantly with fast-paced action and that pace didn't stop until the end of the book. I've always enjoyed how her short chapters keep me reading far longer than I mean to....I keep thinking one more chapter and before I know it I'm halfway through the book :) While Lethal was fast paced and filled with action, I struggled with the beginning of the book. I think that a lot of this had to do with the fact that Honor AND her daughter were in danger. I was so worried about her daughter and what was going to happen that I had a hard time just enjoying the book. But the second half of the book was much better for me and then I had a hard time of even setting the book down. The ending was surprising for me as it was unexpected in a few different ways.

All in all, this was a good/solid read although I had a few issues with it. I'm going to have to go back and read some of this author's books that I have missed over the years because it has been awhile since I read anything by her. I think that romantic suspense fans will enjoy this read and I would recommend it.

Bottom Line: A good read but not my favorite by this author.

Disclosure: I was sent this book for review from the publisher. These are my honest thoughts :)