Monday, January 31, 2011

The Lost Gate

Author: Orson Scott Card
Publisher: Tor Books

Dan North knows from early childhood that his family is different — and that the differences are secrets that can never be told. This contemporary Urban Fantasy introduces the North family, a clan of mages in exile in our world, and their enemies who will do anything to keep them locked here.

The Lost Gate is a the first book in a new series by Orson Scott Card. In his afterword, he explains that this book was about 30 years in the making. I have to say that I am glad he took his time with it. The Lost Gate is about a boy who lives in our world with his magical family on a compound. It turns out that they were once gods and have been closed off from their homeland for the last 1400 years because a powerful Gatemage closed all of the gates between our world and the land of Westil. As a result, all of the stranded families have had their powers weakened over the years and can no longer do powerful magic. 13 year old Danny learns that he is a Gatemage and must flee his home. There is a pact among the families that any Gatemage that is born will be killed, because there is a fear that the family that has the Gatemage child will be able to become the strongest family. Intertwined with Danny's journey is that story of another boy in Westil named Wad. The 2 stories at first seem disconnected but it becomes clear toward the end how they relate to one another.

I enjoyed The Lost Gate. The author does a great job at drawing you into the mythology of the worlds he has created. The characters were very real and most were very likable. I admit that I didn't like Danny too much in the beginning, as I thought he was a bit of a jerk, but as he matured in the book, he grew on me. I felt the ending was a bit abrupt and I wanted it to go on a bit more. I know that this is the first in a series, so I eagerly await the next one.

A slight warning to parents, this is being promoted as a YA, coming of age story. Honestly, I would use your own discretion before allowing your child to read this. I really felt like there was some content that was a bit mature for anyone under the age of 16 or 17. Even though Danny is only 13 in the beginning, he is put into some pretty adult situations. There is also some mature content in the parallel story about Wad. This is not Harry Potter! Given that, I would recommend this to any Fantasy fan. I enjoyed the audio-book. However, the deep voice of the male narrator made it hard to remember that Danny was only 13 in the beginning of the book.


Thursday, January 27, 2011

Throwback Thursday - Almost Home

Author: Barbara Freethy
First published in 2000 by Avon Books

TROUBLE IN PARADISE - Katherine Whitfield hadn't left her seamless life in California to get mixed-up with a rough around the edges man like Zach Tyler. With his well-worn jeans and slow, seductive smile, he was nothing but a cowboy on the wrong side of the Mississippi - a diversion in her heartfelt quest to discover the father she never knew.

Zach has a gentle hand with horses and a seductive touch with women ... and when he takes Katherine in his arms, he unleashes the passion simmering just below her cool exterior. Yes, her probing questions and tantalizing ways could cause nothing but trouble - but sometimes a man needs a little trouble ....

All Katherine wants is to find out the identity of her biological father. Finding clues in an old trunk that belonged to her deceased mother, she heads to her mother's hometown to find answers. What she gets is much more than she bargained for. Zach has spent the last few years trying to prove to a town that was swindled by his father that he is not cut from the same cloth. Zach and Katherine are a great couple. They both are searching for a place to belong and both come with baggage. Their HEA is very satisfying. While this is a romance, it has a mystery that keeps it interesting. The identity of Katherine's father was hard to pick until the very end.

This book is out of paper print (I got mine from the library), however it is available in e-book format. I definitely recommend this one.


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Stir Until Throughly Confused

Author: Heather Wardell

Mary's given up everything, including an unsatisfying marriage, to become a chef. But the career comes with a side dish: Kegan, her sexy but controlling new boss.

They're soon in a relationship, and in all-too-frequent arguments, and when it becomes clear they can't work together and be together Mary faces a dilemma: keep her dream job or her dream man?

Stir Until Thoroughly Confused is a new story by Heather Wardell. You may have remembered my review of Planning to Live last year. This time around, Ms. Wardell brings us a very endearing romance. It’s not just about a woman who falls for her boss. It is about 2 people who struggle to make changes in their lives and how they help each other along the way. I really enjoyed watching Mary change and grow into a more confident person. I think many women will identify with her struggle to make a new life for herself and figure out who she wants to be. The relationship between her and Kegan was very real. I enjoyed the path that it took and how they started out as friends. Ms. Wardell did an excellent job of capturing the excitement and uncertainty one feels when faced with a new love interest. I loved Kegan and Mary as a couple and I was really rooting for them in the end. After reading this book, I discovered that she has 2 previous books that have some of the same characters. However, I never felt like I was missing any back story. I would definitely recommend this story. Give it a shot; I think you will like it.


*note: I read an Advanced Reader’s copy of Stir Until Throughly Confused supplied courtesy of the author. I was not approached or compensated in anyway for this review. By receiving a complimentary copy, I am in no way obligated to write a good or bad review. I am an honest reviewer and my reviews are based on my own opinion and only written by me.*

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Blood Stains

Author: Sharon Sala
Publisher: Mira Books

At the reading of her father's will, Maria Slade receives shocking news—as a four-year-old, she'd witnessed her prostitute mother's murder and been taken into hiding by the well-meaning preacher who'd raised her as his own.
Maria remembers none of that. But now she's determined to flush her mother's killer out of hiding and discover the identity of her birth father. She heads to Tulsa, Oklahoma, where she meets Detective Bodie Scott.

Empathizing with this beautiful woman looking to find out who she really is, he opens the decades-old case file. Their investigation leads them down a dangerous path, where no one is what they seem. Where a father does not want to be found. And a murderer has "like mother, like daughter" in mind for Maria.

Blood Stains (The Searchers #1) is the first book in a new series by Sharon Sala. The premise of the series is that 3 sisters find out at the reading of their father's will that most of their life has been a lie. Each sister leaves home to find out the truth of their real identity. Blood Stains was a pretty quick read. Bodie's character is strong willed and not afraid to go after what he wants, especially when it comes to Maria. I really believed his side of the romance, but I wasn't too sold on Maria's side. While I liked her character, I didn't buy her falling for Brodie.

This is supposed to be a romantic suspense, but the suspense part wasn't really there. You know who the killer is pretty early on and the "twist" at the end was pretty apparent halfway through the book. The peripheral characters were interesting and helped round out the story. I do look forward to reading the other 2 books in the series. There are hints to their plots in this one. If you are a fan of Ms. Sala's work, pick this one up. While it isn't her best work, you will probably enjoy it. 3 out of 5 stars


* note: I read an Advanced Reader’s copy of Blood Stains supplied courtesy of Mira Books. I was not approached or compensated in anyway for this review. By receiving a complimentary copy, I am in no way obligated to write a good or bad review. I am an honest reviewer and my reviews are based on my own opinion and only written by me.*

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Wolves of Andover

by:  Kathleen Kent
published by:  Reagan Arthur Books

In the harsh wilderness of colonial Massachusetts, Martha Allen works as a servant in her cousin's household, taking charge and locking wills with everyone. Thomas Carrier labors for the family and is known both for his immense strength and size and mysterious past. The two begin a courtship that suits their independent natures, with Thomas slowly revealing the story of his part in the English Civil War. But in the rugged new world they inhabit, danger is ever present, whether it be from the assassins sent from London to kill the executioner of Charles I or the wolves-in many forms-who hunt for blood.

I LOVED this book.  I listened to the audiobook, but still, I loved it.  The pace and the progress the the story was perfect.  The author slowly revealed tiny little bits of the story so that you constantly wanted to know more. 

This was one of those really interesting books that made you feel like you were learning something while you were reading.  It was a fantastic historical novel as well as a lovely romance.  The afterword as a lot of information regarding the history included in the book that was very interesting and made me want to read Kathleen Kent's other book, The Heretic's Daughter.

As I said, I listened to the audiobook and I'd highly recommend it.  The reader, Ellen Archer, did a superb job.  Thanks to the Hachette group for providing the audiobook!

The Countess

Author: Lynsay Sands
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers

The fairy tale courtship did not turn into a happily ever after…

Not until her husband dropped dead, that is. He had been horrible enough to Christiana during their short marriage, and she was not going to allow the traditional period of mourning to ruin her sisters’ debuts as well. So Christiana decides to put him on ice and go on as if nothing’s happened…

Until the real earl appears. Richard Fairgrave had every intention of confronting his villainous twin who robbed him of his name and title…only to discover that he’d died. Quietly assuming his identity, Richard must now deal with a maddening desire for his ravishing inherited “wife”—certainly a gold digger and possibly a murderess. And Christiana must deal with an unwanted new “husband”…and they both must figure out what to do before the ice melts!

The Countess is the first in a new series by Lynsay Sands that comes out this month. The second, The Heiress, follows in February 2011. I really enjoyed this book. It was charming, sexy, romantic, funny and intriguing. While it is a historical romance, I didn’t feel bogged down in details of clothing style or the period that I feel, at times, overpowers other books of the genre. The book has some real laugh out loud moments, most involving the unexpected death of "Dicky".

Christiana is the typical first born heiress who has not “worldly”, which leads to a funny scene when discussing marriage consummation with a family friend. She has spent the last year being demeaned and emotionally abused by her husband, so her spirits have been broken and she has no self confidence anymore. I enjoyed seeing her come out of her shell and become the woman she was before she married. Richard is the hero that we all want to fall in love with because he is just so likable. The thing that appealed to me about this book was that there was no real angst between the couple. Their relationship flows pretty easily even though they are thrown into the relationship. They genuinely like and respect each other, almost from the first. The attraction is immediate and leads to some very steamy scenes. There is also a bit of mystery, the answer to which, I didn’t see coming.

I will add that the peripheral characters, especially the two sisters, are what really drew me into Richard and Christiana’s story. I personally can’t wait to read Suzette’s story, which is next in The Heiress. She was feisty, funny and unpredictable. I also hope that Lisa gets her own story as well. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys a good romance and fans of Ms. Sands will want to pick this up as well. You won’t be disappointed. 4 out of 5 stars.

-- Kari

* note: I read an Advanced Reader’s e-proof copy of The Countess supplied courtesy of HarperCollins Publishers. I was not approached or compensated in anyway for this review. By receiving a complimentary copy, I am in no way obligated to write a good or bad review. I am an honest reviewer and my reviews are based on my own opinion and only written by me.*

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Throwback Thursday - Eloquent SIlence

Author: Sandra Brown
First published in 1982 under Rachel Ryan

A lovely young teacher of the deaf has invested everything in her career to fight loneliness and the pain of her past. When the hearing-impaired daughter of a widowed soap opera heartthrob becomes her pupil, all their lives change--and open to the possibility of becoming a family.

This was first published under the the pseudonym Rachel Ryan. It is available on audio as well as paperback. I really enjoyed the audio version. Eloquent Silence is a sweet romance. Drake is a soap opera star who has a deaf child. He hires Lauri to be a live in nanny/teacher for his daughter. On the surface, this looks like your typical single father falls in love with teacher story. But, it goes beyond that. Both of them have some baggage to work out. Drake learns how to be a better father and reassess his priorities. Lauri gains more confidence in herself. The love story and mutual attraction felt real and not rushed. If you are a fan of Sandra Brown and you haven't read any of her early writing, pick this one up. You won't be disappointed.


Monday, January 17, 2011

Silver and Spice

Author: Jennifer Greene
Publisher: Re-issue by Carina Press (Originally published by Berkley in 1984 under “Jeanne Grant")

Jake Rivard has been back in Grosse Pointe for only twenty-four hours, and already banker Anne Blake's well-ordered world is in chaos. Again. Every time the man with the sexy silver-gray eyes shows up, she falls into bed with him. And every time he walks away, there's an ache in her heart she can never ease. Now that she has the stable life she's always craved, Anne's not about to let him seduce her again. No matter how much she wants him to.

Jake's not leaving this time without Anne by his side. He's determined to marry her, despite her insistence that their relationship doesn't work outside of the bedroom. All he asks is that she spend two weeks with him in Idaho's Silver Valley, managing his finances. And if it will prove to her that they have more in common than lust, Jake's prepared to keep his hands to himself for the whole trip.

But is two weeks enough time to convince Anne that the only thing standing between them is the wall she's built around her heart?

Silver and Spice is one of a number of books that were written by Jennifer Greene in the 80's under the name Jeanne Grant. Carina Press is re-issuing them as e-books over the next few months. On the whole, the romance was cute and the love scenes were flowery and suggestive. While wasn't much character development, there was enough to get a sense of where each character was coming from. Jake was very endearing and I was rooting for him in the end. The one thing that had me laughing was the out-dated references. The clothing was clearly 80's fashion (culottes and velvety corduroys *snicker*) as well as some of the technology. I read it in an afternoon. Pick it up if you are looking for a quick escape on a rainy day.


* note: I read an Advanced Reader’s copy of Silver and Spice supplied courtesy of Carina Press. I was not approached or compensated in anyway for this review. By receiving a complimentary copy, I am in no way obligated to write a good or bad review. I am an honest reviewer and my reviews are based on my own opinion and only written by me.*

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Throwback Thursday - The Haunting of Josie

Author: Kay Hooper
First published in 1994 by Loveswept

She was a woman of secrets in a house of shadows and he held the key ....

Marc Westbrook would have made a good warlock, Josie Douglas decided--with his raven-dark hair, silver eyes, and even a black cat in his arms! She'd chosen the isolated house as a refuge, a place to put the past to rest, but now her gorgeous landlord insisted on fighting her demons ...and why did he so resemble the ghostly figure who'd beckoned to her from the head of the stairs?

In a novel that sparkles with her unique blend of romantic mystery and spicy wit, Kay Hooper once more demonstrates her talent for seduction and suspense. Will her bewitched hero succumb to his lady's sorcery or enchant her forever with a spell of his own?

Many of you may be more familiar with Kay Hooper's Bishop/ Special Crimes Unit series. If you are a fan, then you might want to try her earlier works, a lot of which are being reissued. The Haunting of Josie was reissued in 2007. It is a pretty quick read. The romance is believable. Marc and Josie are very likable characters. Their chemistry is very steamy! This story has a little bit of a supernatural element to it and the HEA is very satisfying. I have to admit that this book is what got me out of my reading slump a few years ago. While it isn't a spectacular book, there was just something about it that got me back on track. If you want a quick, cute romance with a ghostly twist, pick this one up!

-- Kari

Monday, January 10, 2011

10 on the 10th

Kari's 10 books to read in 2011:

1. J.R. Ward's: Lover Unleashed, BDB #9
2. Jayne Ann Krentz: In Too Deep
3. Nora Roberts: Chasing Fire
4. JD Robb: Treachery in Death
5. Andrea Kane: The Girl Who Disappeared Twice
6. Sharon Sala: Blood Stains
7. Lynsay Sands: The Countess
8. James Patterson: 10Th Anniversary (Women’s Murder Mystery Club #10)
9. Allison Brennan: Love me to Death
10. Linda Howard: Warrior Rising

10 on the 10th

Annette's Ten Books of 2011 (no particular order):

1 - Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss - I can hardly wait for this sequel to The Name of the Wind! Happily, it's due in March and I've already gotten my pre-order in, so I'm ready!

2 - Ghost Story by Jim Butcher - Harry Dresden is my literary crush. I was not happy with the cliffhanger in Changes. Must know the resolution! How soon will April get here?

3 - Lover Unleashed by JR Ward - Payne and Manny's story arrives the end of March. I always look forward to another reason to visit the BDB world.

4 - River Marked by Patricia Briggs - The latest installment in the Mercy Thompson series is another March release.

5 - Anna Dressed in Blood - Kendare Blake - The cover caught my eye and then the synopsis kept my attention. A September release.

6 - Envy by JR Ward - The next adventure of Ward's Fallen Angels. October release date.

7 - Eternal Rider by Larissa Ione - A new series in Ione's popular Demonica world which I am definitely a fan of. End of March release (anyone else seeing a pattern here??)

8 - Deeper than Midnight by Lara Adrian - Book 9 in the Midnight Breed series is due out in June.

9 - Spellbound by Blake Charlton - I found a lot of promise in the first book in this fantasy series (Spellwright) and I'm looking forward to the next installment with a more mature hero. August release.

10 - Heart of Steel by Meljean Brook - Of all the books trying to find a place in the "steampunk" genre, only two that I've read come anywhere close. One of those is The Iron Duke and why I'm ready for the sequel. Sadly, I've got to wait until November!


by:  DW Richardson
published by:  Self?

In grown-up fairy tales, even the happiest endings have complications. Kayley, the single mother of a psychically gifted four-year-old, squeaks out a living writing and creating greeting cards. Adam is a carpenter doing a favour at the request of a mutual friend. Alexandra is a former stripper making a place for herself in the "straight" world when she meets Adam's sexually ambiguous cousin Henry, a math teacher with nineteenth century values. In no particular order, spiritualism, home renovation, etymology, herbalism, psychic aptitude, quantum physics, Wicca, and Jungian teachings, are all braided seamlessly into a frequently humorous, sometimes outrageous, and often enlightening storyline that explores the nuances of romantic love and friendship between four very different yet equally engaging individuals.

This was a hard one.  When I finished the book, my reaction was kinda like "uhhhh ok then."  It was sort of a mishmash of "stuff" and relationships and in my opinion it didn't all necessarily all flow together. 

The story was basically about Kayley and Adam and their relationship which was pretty much a normal heterosexual relationship.  It was also about Henry, Adam's cousin, and Alexandra's relationship which was anything but normal.  The four of them ended up pretty much living together, which was sort of bizarre really. 

There were some mild gay and scenes throughout so if that's not your thing be aware that's in this book.  It's not really graphic anything like that, but it's there throughout the book.  There were some other little polititcal type rants in the book about feminism that raised my hackles a little bit.  It surprised me that a book like this would get my temper up a little. 

So, I'd say that maybe this book wasn't for me, but I didn't totally hate it.  I did read it all the way through, I didn't have to force myself to read it, so that says something.  It was well written without any glaring errors.  If the story sounds interesting to you, go check it out!


10 On The 10th

Missy Ann's Top 10 Most Wanted of 2011

1. Meljean Brook's Heart of Steel, book 2 in her Iron Seas steampunk world.

2. Jaci Burton's The Perfect Play. The cover... it sold me the book.

3. Patrick Rothfuss's The Wise Man's Fear, 2nd book of the Kingkiller Chronicles.

4. Staci Kane's 4th installment of Downside Ghosts - still to be named.

5. Justin Gustanis (anthology) Those Who Fight Monsters - check out the authors, looking like a sure winner. Adore this cover too.

6. Jane Auel's The Land of Painted Caves, this is it folks. This is the finale to Earth's Children. I think I've been waiting for this book since I was 12.

7. Kresley Cole's Dreams of a Dark Warrior. When my friends come to me and ask "I've read the BDB and loved them. What should I read now?" Cole's Immortals After Dark series is where I send them.

8. Jim Butcher's Ghost Story, Dresden Files #13. After the way Changes ended... Butcher owes me an explanation. ;)

9. J.R. Ward's Lover Unleashed, BDB #9. It's the Brothers... must read.

10. Rachel Harrison's Pale Demon, The Hallows #9.

Going over this list most of the releases are first quarter '11. I think I'll come back in the Spring with a list for summer. Until then, happy reading!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Quick and the Thread

Author: Amanda Lee
Publisher: Signet, August 2010

When Marcy Singer opens an embroidery specialty shop in quaint Tallulah Falls, Oregon, she throws a soiree and a Stitch-In. Soon, Marcy's sign- up sheet for embroidery classes fills up and everyone in town seems willing to raise a glass-or a needle-to support the newly-opened Seven Year Stitch.

Then Marcy finds the shop's previous tenant dead in the store-room, a message scratched with a tapestry needle on the wall beside him. Now Marcy's shop has become a crime scene, and she's the prime suspect. She'll have to find the killer before someone puts a final stitch in her.

The trouble with reading embroidery-themed cozy mysteries when one actually *does* embroider, is when the author sprinkles in the small details meant to add a little color and depth to the character and story and they get it wrong.... it's like a big speed bump in the narrative. These details aren't the focus of the story, nor do they play out in the solution of the mystery, but it's just something I find annoying... LOL

This is a very light, simple story. The resolution is a bit far-fetched, but the characters are likable enough to make it work. If you are a fan of Monica Ferris, you'll not regret spending a little time here.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

From the Dead

Author: John Herrick
Publisher: Segue Blue

A preacher’s son. A father in hiding. A guilty heart filled with secrets.

When Jesse Barlow escaped to Hollywood at age eighteen, he hungered for freedom, fame and fortune. Eleven years later, his track record of failure results in a drug-induced suicide attempt. Revived at death’s doorstep, Jesse returns to his Ohio hometown to make amends with his preacher father, a former love, and Jesse’s own secret son. But Jesse’s renewed commitment becomes a baptism by fire when his son’s advanced illness calls for a sacrifice—one that could cost Jesse the very life he regained.

A story of mercy, hope, and second chances, From The Dead captures the human spirit with tragedy and joy.

From the Dead is the debut novel by John Herrick. It is the story of Jesse and his return home after running to California in his youth to pursue his dreams of fame and fortune. 10 years later, he has been used, abused, and is still searching. It is upon returning to his childhood home that he really begins to grow up and mature. I enjoyed watching Jesse grow and learn how to be unselfish and take responsibility. One of the things that drew me to the story is that it is about regrets and making amends. It is also about letting go of the guilt you feel for past decisions and how you must forgive yourself and let go in order to truly be happy. I was pleasantly surprised by this book. I was a little skeptical because I was afraid it would be overly preachy, but the religious aspect of the book was subtle and really enhanced the story. It was interesting to see how 2 siblings who grew up in the same household handled being a preacher's kid differently. I especially liked Chuck, Jesse’s Dad, as he was someone who knows he has faults, admits that he doesn’t have all of the answers, but still has faith and hope. I would definitely recommend this book. It was an engrossing tale that drew me in from the first chapter. I wanted to see Jesse succeed. I loved all of the characters and know that they will stay with me for a long time to come. My only regret is that that tale ended too soon. I would have liked more of an epilogue, especially regarding Jesse and Caitlyn, but that is personal preference. I look forward to see what Mr. Herrick comes up with next! 4 stars

-- Kari

*note: I have been provided a review copy of From the Dead for review by author John Herrick. By receiving a complimentary copy, I am in no way obligated to write a good or bad review. I am an honest reviewer and my reviews are based on my own opinion and only written by me. - Kari*

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Throwback Thursday - Anyone But You

Author: Jennifer Crusie
First published in 1996 by Harlequin

For Nina Askew, turning forty means freedom—from the ex-husband whose career always came first, from their stuffy suburban home. Freedom to have her own apartment in the city, freedom to focus on what she wants for a change. And what she wants is something her ex always vetoed—a puppy. A bouncy puppy to cheer her up. Instead she gets…Fred.

Overweight, smelly and obviously suffering from some kind of doggy depression, Fred is light years from perky. But for all his faults, he does manage to put Nina face-to-face with Alex Moore, her gorgeous, younger downstairs neighbor.

Alex looks great on paper—a sexy, seemingly sane, surprisingly single E.R. doctor who shares Fred’s abiding love for Oreos—but a ten-year difference in age, despite his devastating smile, is too wide a gap for Nina to handle. Ignoring her insistent best friend, some interfering do-gooders and the ubiquitous Fred—not to mention her suddenly raging hormones—Nina thinks anyone but Alex would be a better bet for a relationship. But with every silver-haired stiff she dates, the more she suspects it’s the young dog-loving doctor she wants to sit and stay!

Anyone But You is a really cute love story. Nina is smart, funny and a bit insecure about her body. I think that is what drew me to her. She wasn't perfectly toned and "pert". She seemed very real to me. Alex, while 10 years younger, is the perfect match for Nina. He has his own insecurities, but they only make him more endearing. I love how the couple become friends first and really get to know each other before succumbing to lust. Nina's adventures in dating while denying her feelings for Alex, make for some pretty funny scenes. The peripheral characters, especially Fred, help round out the plot. Any fan of Jennifer Crusie will love this one. If you missed it, try it out!


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Glass Rainbow

published by:  Simon and Schuster

From JLB website:  James Lee Burke’s eagerly awaited new novel finds Detective Dave Robicheaux back in New Iberia, Louisiana, and embroiled in the most harrowing and dangerous case of his career. Seven young women in neighboring Jefferson Davis Parish have been brutally murdered. While the crimes have all the telltale signs of a serial killer, the death of Bernadette Latiolais, a high school honor student, doesn’t fit: she is not the kind of hapless and marginalized victim psychopaths usually prey upon. Robicheaux and his best friend, Clete Purcel, confront Herman Stanga, a notorious pimp and crack dealer whom both men despise. When Stanga turns up dead shortly after a fierce beating by Purcel, in front of numerous witnesses, the case takes a nasty turn, and Clete’s career and life are hanging by threads over the abyss.

Adding to Robicheaux’s troubles is the matter of his daughter, Alafair, on leave from Stanford Law to put the finishing touches on her novel. Her literary pursuit has led her into the arms of Kermit Abelard, celebrated novelist and scion of a once prominent Louisiana family whose fortunes are slowly sinking into the corruption of Louisiana’s subculture. Abelard’s association with bestselling ex-convict author Robert Weingart, a man who uses and discards people like Kleenex, causes Robicheaux to fear that Alafair might be destroyed by the man she loves. As his daughter seems to drift away from him, he wonders if he has become a victim of his own paranoia. But as usual, Robicheaux’s instincts are proven correct and he finds himself dealing with a level of evil that is greater than any enemy he has confronted in the past.

For those keeping up, this is Dave Robicheaux #18.  I'll admit I haven't read every single one of them, but I've read a good majority of them and really like them all.  This one was really good as well.  I listened to the audiobook for this one.  The actor Will Patton read it.  I'm sure from the name you probably wouldn't know who that is, but I'm sure you recognize his face.

Think Armageddon and 24.  He did a really good job.  One of the best audiobook readers I've heard.  I actually wasn't cringing too much at his southern accent either.  He managed not to mangle too many Louisiana words.  In fact, I was really impressed with many of his pronunciations.  I was starting to wonder if he was indeed a Louisiana boy until he said beignet and then I knew he wasn't.

As for the story itself, it was very suspenseful and interesting.  I liked the aspect of Alafair growing up and Dave not dealing with it too well.  It keeps their realistic and lively.  Plus, I like how it keeps the Alafair character engaged in the stories and she hasn't fallen by the wayside.

If you've never read James Lee Burke, I highly recommend him for those who like mystery/detective type books.  You won't find another writer in that genre with his way with words.  He is uniquely descriptive.  I would suggest reading the series in order so that you learn the story of Dave and his family, but it isn't really necessary, each book can stand alone.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!!!

Autumn, Missy Ann, Annette, and Kari wish all of you a happy, healthy and safe 2011!!!! Stay tuned for a great year of reviews!