Saturday, March 31, 2012

I've Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella

This story definitely grew on me.  I started out not liking the main character but as she evolved, I found her good points and began to root for her.  There are some great unexpected hidden twists and turns in the story line to keep it interesting.
The only part that bothered me was the constant mention to footnotes.  The heroine Poppy, is obsessed with footnotes.

The book begins with a crisis: Poppy has lost her engagement ring, a family heirloom from her fiance. In the frantic search for the lost emerald ring, someone swipes Poppy's cell phone but quickly finds (through the magic of writing) a cell phone in the trash, which she digs out of the trash and starts using. 

We then begin to meet the characters; her fiance and future in-laws (who are so scary-smart that she is intimidated), her work-friends, and especially the stranger to whom the phone originally belonged.

Give Poppy a chance.  If you don't like her at first, she will grow on you like a good friend.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Dragonfly In Amber by Diana Gabaldon

This is an excellent time-travel romance.  The second in the Outlander series.  I enjoyed it just as much as the first book.  There are references to the first book "Outlander" but not so much to be overdone.  I love reading series books in order and I can't wait for to read the 3rd in this series.
It's now 1968, and Claire Beauchamp Randall has returned to Inverness, Scotland, with her daughter, Brianna.

This is Claire's first visit back since she and husband Frank visited 22 years before--when she walked through a Druid stone circle into the middle of the 18th century. Now, Frank is dead, and Claire hopes to learn what happened to the second great love of her life--gallant Jamie Fraser, laird of Lallybroch whom she married during her journey into the past.

She's also looking for a way to tell Brianna who her real father is. Framed by these dilemmas, the bulk of the story consists of the second installment of Claire and Jamie's adventures. Escaping the English death sentence passed against Jamie, they flee to prerevolutionary Paris, where they secretly work at foiling Bonnie Prince Charlie's efforts to regain the Scottish throne.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Stealing Magic (A Sixty-Eight Rooms Adventrue) by Marianne Malone

This is the second book in this series and just as good as the first book.  You don't need to have read the first book to understand what is happening, nor does this second installment cover the first book with too much description.  A great YA story for inventive imaginations.

Ruthie and Jack are smart and fun kids who have a good relationship with their parents and get drawn into the most wonderful mysteries. 

Ruthie and Jack thought that their adventures in the Thorne Rooms (the 68 miniature period rooms on permanent display in the Art Institute of Chicago) were over . . . until miniatures from the rooms start to disappear. Is it the work of the art thief who's on the loose in Chicago? Or has someone else discovered the secret of the Thorne Rooms' magic? Ruthie and Jack's quest to stop the thief takes them from modern day Chicago to 1937 Paris during the Nazi takeover and they get to visit the South when slavery was still in practice.

As more items disappear, including the key that allows them to shrink and access the past worlds, what was once just an adventure becomes a life and death race against the clock. Can Ruthie and Jack catch the thief and help the friends they meet on the way before the magic—and the rooms—are destroyed forever?

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Waking Up In Charleston by Sherryl Woods

This is a book I didn't expect to like that much, but I did.  I wanted to keep reading because the character's are very real, caring and work hard to be good people - most of them. 

This review doesn't make it sound like much of a book, but it's worth reading.  Sherryl Woods does an excellent job letting us listen in to how people work through their problems and those that don't and make a mess of things.
The moment Amanda defied her rich and powerful father to marry Bobby O'Leary, Big Max disowned her. Even now, with Bobby dead and Amanda mired in debt, he refuses to forgive her.

But Caleb, the new man in Amanda's life, is determined to mend fences between father and daughter. He also has a far more personal mission—to make Amanda and her family his own. But when she learns how close he is to Big Max and the secret Caleb's been hiding, there's every chance she could walk away.

As a pastor, Caleb's used to calling on a higher power for help, and heaven knows it's going to take a miracle to fix this before it's too late.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

An Angel for Christmas by Heather Graham

I'm glad the title referenced an angel.  I would not have been able to figure out the story if it didn't.  This book was confusing to me but I kept reading hoping it would all be explained soon.  It did but not clear enough.  The book read like it had been slapped together in a hurry.  I've read better by Heather Graham.

Christmas has never brought out the best in the MacDougal family. Still, year after year, they gather together in the Blue Ridge Mountains to try to make the season merry and bright. This year is an especially strained one, with Shayne's impending divorce, Morwenna's slavish devotion to work and Bobby's reluctance to face what life has to offer. They've never felt less like a family.

Then, in the midst of a snowy sibling shouting match, a mysterious stranger appears. He could be a criminal, a madman—or something far more unexpected. Despite their fears and the growing danger in the dark woods around them, the MacDougals take a leap of faith. But when another stranger arrives on the mountainside, they don't know which of them to believe. One of these men can't be trusted and could be very dangerous.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Joy For Beginners by Erica Bauermeister

This book was such an unexpected pleasure.  I love how Ms Bauermeister writes.  Even though the story is about struggles and challenges, the road traveled is gentle and soothing.  I don't usually re-read books, but this is one I could easily read again and enjoy just as much the second time.  I highly recommend this to everyone.
At an intimate, festive dinner party in Seattle, six women gather to celebrate their friend Kate's recovery from cancer.

Wineglass in hand, Kate strikes a bargain with them. To celebrate her new lease on life, she'll do the one thing that's always terrified her: white-water rafting. But if she goes, all of them will also do something they always swore they'd never do-and Kate is going to choose their adventures.

The challenge each woman takes on is a perfect fit for her and I ended up wanting to take each challenge myself.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Nobody's Baby But Mine by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

I always enjoy books by Susan E Phillips.  There are some great characters in this book and a lot of fun repartee.  The story of Jane is a good one. 

Genius physics professor Dr. Jane Darling spends her 34th birthday in tears. She wants a baby, but not a husband.. But finding a father won’t be easy. Jane’s super-intelligence made her feel like a freak when she was growing up, and she’s determined to spare her own child that suffering. Where can she find an average or, preferably, stupid man? She wants a man who is less intelligent that can bring her babies IQ score down to normal.

Cal Bonner, the Chicago Stars’ legendary quarterback, seems like the perfect choice. But his champion good looks and down-home ways are deceiving. Dr. Jane is about to learn a little too late that this good ol’ boy is a lot smarter than he lets on—and he’s not about to be used and abandoned by a brainy, baby-mad schemer and definitely more honorable than she had expected.