Friday, January 28, 2011

Call Me Irresistible by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

A high-profile wedding, second thoughts, a friend to confirm these second thoughts....all these provided the incentive to call off the wedding. But would the bride's friend, Meg, be sorry she even mentioned to Lucy that perhaps she shouldn't marry Ted especially in a town where the groom was the mayor and could do any number of things to make things difficult for Meg?

And what a rough time Meg did have...Ted was brutally cruel to her; he never showed that side of him to the citizens of the town.  Ted was everywhere Meg was. He knew she didn't have any money to leave town, and he also made sure no one would hire her.  She was food, no place to stay, and no one to help her.  Meg was so happy she saw what Ted was really like and that her friend didn't marry him.

Since Meg couldn't leave and remained in the small Texas town, she decided to make some mischief of her own which got all the aristocratic Texas ladies in an uproar.  But would her decisions backfire on her, make things better, or cause a never-ending pain in her heart?

You will love the book...a sensual storyline, and let's not forget wealth, jealousy, and greed.  The characters are easy to love and easy to hate.

Phillips has authored another winner!!!

Giving it a BIG TEXAS 5/5....LOVED IT.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

His Other Wife by Deborah Beford

We have to talk...four words that as a rule aren't going to have an outcome of something one wants to hear.  That was the case for Hilary and Eric....he didn't love her anymore and was filing for a divorce.  What about Seth?  Our son doesn't deserve this.

But, the divorce went through, Eric married Pam, and Hilary and Seth successfully made it through the year his dad left when he was eight to his high school graduation.  Everything was working out for Seth...he was a football player, he was popular, and he had a full college scholarship.

Then on graduation night, disaster struck, and his life became shattered again just like when he was eight, but only worse.  Seth was unapproachable both physically and emotionally, and the only thing Hilary could do was to pray for Seth's handling of the current crisis.  After all, they had the best attorney in the city, and most importantly she had God on her side.

The book was a good depiction of family life after a divorce and also a reminder of how things can change in an instant and transform the entire scope of any situation.  The book had a religious theme based on the story of Hannah from the Bible, but it wasn't too evident or obvious.  The focus was on the Wynn family and how each member dealt with the tragedies their family was enduring as well as the tenderness between a mother and her child.  

I enjoyed the book.  The author did a wonderful job of depicting emotions in tense situations and allowing the reader to truly experience those emotions along with the characters.  Have some tissues ready for the ending.

I originally was going to give it a 4/5 until the last few pages and then I bumped it up to a 5/5.  The ending was very heartwarming.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Sometimes I Feel Like A Nut by Jill Kargman

Perfect title for this book....the stories were definitely nutty.   Events from childhood, college, and beyond...the stories just kept coming. 
Jill told stories about everyday happenings and her likes and dislikes....imagine having gasoline as your favorite smell.  Once it was mentioned, her observations and memories had you recalling a story about yourself and a similar situation.  The glossary at the beginning of the book was quite funny and set the tone.  My favorite section was titled Obsessed/Detest...and Yes...I did google “teratomas”....Page 85  :) 

The brief sections were funny and creative and talked about circumstances that we hate to happen, but they do.  My obsession with cohesion in a book made it slightly challenging to read, but if you enjoy little vignettes compared to a full plot you will take pleasure in each of the stories.  The little drawings added to the book's hilarity as well.  

The book will definitely make you laugh.  I really enjoyed it, but I did have one objection....the use of a certain word.  My rating is 4/5 only because of my preference to a full plot.  Happy Laughing.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A Lonely Death by Charles Todd

Three murders in a small town....Scotland yard is involved....all the same method of murder, but no weapon and no clues.  The townspeople are terrified about who will be next especially since there is really no connection between the men who were murdered. The only similar thread is the victims were alone or in an isolated area and had been officers in the armed forces during WWI, and they all had identification discs in their mouths from other dead soldiers.

Scotland Yard's, Ian Rutledge, was coming up short with all clues and interviews.   Everything turned up a dead end.  Mrs. Saunders, the ever-present lady in the window, can't even help him even though she said she sees everything no matter what time of the day or night. 

As events begin to unfold, and the characters become alive from all the great detail, the story turns to page-turning status with its twists and turns and sub plots. 
This was my first Ian Rutledge Mystery....Rutledge is a character you want to know better.   The beginning pages were a little confusing trying  to get all the characters straight....especially figuring out who Hamish was, but once you had everyone sorted out and the plot was difficult to put down.

I definitely will be reading more of these mysteries....superb author.  Ohhhhhhhhhhh....I did enjoy it a lot.  5/5

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

To Have and To Kill by Mary Jane Clark


"It could have just as easily have been your precious Glenna as Travis York last night."  Page 102

The murder of Travis York...a soap opera star at a charity auction caused a lot of alarm and definitely publicity.  Who could have done this?  Was the poisoned drink really for him or someone else?  What about the letter Glenna had received before the auction?   These questions and a lot more were left unanswered, but one question was definite...someone had been plotting this crime whether the correct person had become the victim or not. 

The crew of the soap opera as well as hundreds of other mourners attended the funeral in St. Patrick's Cathedral.  As Peggy the costume girl sat in the service, she remembered the person she saw handling the poisoned water.  She decided to confront that person and tell them what she had seen. 

Being the nice person she was, Peggy didn't want to go to the police if she really wasn't sure that person had been the murderer....she would give him/her a chance to turn himself/herself in.  She would feel awful if she hadn't been correct and had ruined someone's life.   But was it going to be Peggy's mistake by confronting the person?

The book keeps you guessing until the think you have it figured out, but then...ah ah....another clue pops up. 

I enjoyed the was a fast-paced read with characters who had interesting lives...sort of soap opera lives...great parallel on the author's part.  The mystery wasn't nail-biting, but it was enticing enough to make you curious about the outcome.  My rating is a 4/5.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

The Change by Anna Y. White

The author kindly sent me an electronic form to read.

Every high school students' graduate and head to college.

Natasha's dream was crushed when she didn't pass the exams....she had to stay behind and do more embarrassing.

But....her father had her apply abroad, and she was accepted. The excitement wore off as soon as her parents left her in a country where hardly anyone spoke English or Russian.  The first week was awful and she was about to give up and go home when she met the girl who loved Pink.  :)  The fun of this new girl lasted for about a day...she was spoiled and had to have  her own way, and she loved to spend money.  Natasha was very conservative...I hope this works out she keeps thinking. worked out to the extent that everything had to go Veronica's way.  What a way to enjoy college with a selfish roommate who partied and never studied like she did but still passed the courses.

The book held your interest, but it will be of most interest to college students and those currently going through these situations.  The characters were developed, and you could create an image of them for yourself.

Friday, January 7, 2011

You Know When The Men Are Gone by Siobhan Fallon


A glimpse of military life in Fort Hood...dedicated women waiting patiently and fearfully for dedicated men to return, and dedicated men and women wondering what it will be like when they do return.
Will things be the way they were before, will it take a while to get back to the routine before separation, or will what they had be completely gone?  Unless you have been there, you never know what others endure and what feelings grow or get lost when there is an extended period of absence from a loved one .
As the book's individual stories unfolded, you could sympathize with the appealing characters and the difficult, but real situations.  The reader will undeniably appreciate what military men and women have to endure away from home and what their loved ones deal with as they wait. 
Siobhan Fallon is an exceptionally talented storyteller.  I am confident this will be a very popular book once it is published because of the subject matter and the focus of each section. 
The interest-rich stories kept you absorbed, but my preference is a connected story with similar characters throughout; therefore, I am going to rate the book 4/5 simply because of my personal obsession with the connectivity of a book's plot and its constant characters.


Sunday, January 2, 2011

The Proper Care and Maintenance of Friendship by Lisa Verge Higgins

Letters, letters, letters...did yours arrive yet?

They weren't letters you would want to receive, though.   They were letters from Rachel, a dear friend who had died unexpectedly, and contained her last wishes for each friend to carry out.  Would you go to great lengths to fulfill a friend's dying wish?

Most of the requests were outlandish, but were sent to be sure her friends would find happiness or do something they would never dream of doing.  She really wanted all of her friends to improve something in their lives. 

Of course the friends felt obligated to carry out the requests even though Kate felt hers seemed to be the most daring and Jo argued that what could be worse than the one she received...but then came Sarah's.....all agreed hers seemed the most fun.  They also thought that the attorney had mixed up the could Rachel expect Kate and Jo to complete these requests.  Or maybe she knew something they didn't know about what was best for her friends?

The book is refreshing, light, and at times a teary read that lets you enjoy some adventures both good and bad with the characters.  It also makes you realize that sometimes unexpected circumstances are just what you need even though you don’t think you could even come close to being able to achieve the goal. 

As her dear friends gathered at the grave for the year anniversary of Rachel’s death, they all agreed:  “Rachel didn’t want us to through it alone.”  Page 335