Sunday, March 27, 2011

Princess Ben by Catherine Gilbert Murdock

Filled with magic and adventure this is a great YA book.  In a story that is part fantasy, part fairy tale, there is plenty of action to keep the pages turning.

After 15-year-old Princess Benevolence's parents and her uncle, the king, are presumed killed by agents of a neighboring village, she moves to the palace to live with her widowed aunt, Sophia, now the queen regent, to be groomed as heir to the throne.

When Ben discovers magic within the walls of her castle home, she finds a means for asserting her independence and escaping her aunt's control. After a series of adventures and hardships away from the castle, including time spent as a prisoner and drudge in an enemy army camp, Ben ultimately returns to the castle to accept her royal duties.

Her previous behavior has led to questions about her suitability for the throne, so she must prove herself to her friends and enemies, using her magic and her wits to find her own adult role. At first, Ben is somewhat spoiled and childish, but the loss of her parents forces her to grow and mature.

The first-person narrative is presented as the writing of a much-older Ben, looking back at her life, which allows for both immediacy and frequent humorous comments.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Love me if you dare by Carly Phillips

This is the 2nd in the Bachelor Blog series.
Warning:  there are a lot of sex scenes.  Very, very descriptive sex scenes.  If that's not your thing, don't read this book.
Besides the sex, the story is great.

NYPD Police Officer Rafe Mancuso saves his former partner Sara Rios from an assault and has become a city hero. However, he soon learns the down size of "celebrity" status when the Bachelor Blog names him an eligible hunk. 

Sara comes from a family of cops who are all divorced, except one. Her father was never in a long-term relationship after his wife left. Rafe proves to Sara over and over that he wants to be more than just friends with benefits. Sara trusted Rafe with her life but not with her heart.

Rafe tries to stay out of the limelight of the almost famous and retreats to his lakefront cabin. His vanishing turns the Bachelor Bog's attention on the damsel in distress he rescued, Sara. She needs to avoid the limelight as she is to testify in court against a killer who wants her dead. Sara retreats to Rafe's cabin where the attraction that ended their partnership ignites while someone exposes her hideaway.

There is a subplot with a lovable aunt and uncle along with the rest of Rafe's family in a cozy town.

I enjoyed the writing style but thought the characters needed more development.  We were introduced to everyone but I didn't get the full connection for all the characters that I think would have made the book more enjoyable.  I had a sense of skimming the surface of some great people.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Exclusive - Godmother Series by Fern Michaels

This is the second book in this series.  I love the premise of the 'Godmothers' even though it hasn't received great reviews.  You can't always judge a book by others reviews.  Also,  I like to read series books in order, but you don't need to in order to follow this story.
 In this installment Abbe, who works for a National Enquirer-like tabloid, The Informer, has just taken over as editor.. The old editor disappeared and the new owners hired her to take over.

Abbe's mother along with her mother's 3 friends who are all godmothers to Abbe have moved to California for awhile to be near Abbe.  Her mother, Toots Loudenberry, is independently wealthy and purchased a home on Malibu beach.  I love the lifestyle the older women take on - close to what I would envy - including the wealthy part.

What the reviewers don't like about this book is the story line of some shady characters who fumble through the book and just aren't smart enough to evolve into real people.  There is also a second plot about a haunting, that is fun and adventuresome, which reviewers could not accept just plain fun.

I enjoy the ramblings of the 4 women, Toots, Ida, Sophie, and Mavis, who live together in the mansion on the beach.  I hope there will be a third installment.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Love Struck

I'll be hosting a review for Chantel Simmon's new book Love Struck on May 28!
Got the book today !

Sunday, March 13, 2011

A Red Herring Without Mustard by Alan Bradley

Another Flavia de Luce novel.  If you don't know Flavia yet, she is a precocious 11 year old.  She's whip-smart, lippy, and resourceful yet she's at her utmost vulnerable with her distant father and two sisters who constantly taunt her.  She's inherited her love of chemistry from her uncle along with all his beakers and testing chemicals.

I love the Flavia de Luce series.  I've read every one so far and look forward to the next.
In this cozy adventure, we have another splendid romp through 1950s England led by the world’s smartest and most incorrigible preteen.  The family is on the verge of bankruptcy. Father is auctioning his beloved stamps and selling the family silver. In the midst of this crisis, the irrepressible young snoop investigates the beating of a gypsy fortune-teller and the murder of a local thief, which seem somehow connected to a group of religious eccentrics, an antique shop, a missing baby, and a strange, fishy smell.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Free Redbox Box rental for newbies

"Redbox is the best - you can rent DVDs for $1 a night with no membership fees! You should try it out. If you click on my link button in this post and if it's your first time renting online, they'll give you a free one-night online rental credit.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Death at Wentwater Court by Carola Dunn

This is a great cozy mystery that brings the reader back to 1923 Britain with flappers and their fashions and very 'modern' language.  A great first book in the series, well written with great characters - I'll definitely want to continue the series.

The unflappable flapper and fledgling journalist Daisy Dalrymple daringly embarks on her first writing and photography assignment for Town and Country magazine.

But her planned interviews with the inhabitants of Wentwater Court quickly give way to interrogation once the family finds a corpse on their grounds.

Daisy joins forces with Scotland Yard to examine an esteemed collection of suspects and to see that the unlikely culprit doesn't slip through their fingers.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Dating Dead Men by Harley Jane Kozak

This is the first book in the Wollie Shelley series.
This is a fun read. Full of unexpected romance and adventure. 
 The antics of Wollie Shelley, greeting card designer and small business owner, remind me of Stephanie Plum. Wollie is dating 40 men in 60 days as part of a research project for a bestselling radio personality; the $5,000 fee could help her struggling greeting card store.

Her already full plate gets loaded up further when her paranoid schizophrenic brother, P.B., phones to tell her he's witnessed a murder.

Before long Wollie is swept into a mystery involving the mafia, strange Swedes, the three 'C's all the while she's falling for a man called 'Doc'.

Wollie Shelley, is warm, believable and likeable right from the first page along with all the rest of the colorful characters. 

I will definitely continue reading this series.