Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Book Review: Dream of Danger by Maggie Shayne

Dream of Danger
Author: Maggie Shayne
Series: A Brown and DeLuca Novel (Book 1.5)
Publication: Harlequin MIRA (November 1, 2013)

Description: She didn't want to need him.

Murder brought self-help guru Rachel de Luca and Detective Mason Brown together. Their shared secrets drove them apart. But now they're together again in this riveting novella that begins where New York Times bestselling author Maggie Shayne's Sleep with the Lights On ended.

She may have been blind for twenty years, but Rachel's always had an uncanny gift for seeing through people—and she distrusts her assistant's new boyfriend at first sight. Amy isn't interested in Rachel's misgivings, though. She's too eager to celebrate Thanksgiving by introducing her family to the new man in her life.

Then Amy doesn't show up for the holiday….

Desperate to find her missing friend, Rachel has no choice but to turn to Mason. Their investigation into Amy's disappearance takes them ever deeper into danger—and reignites the attraction that they've both sworn to resist. Now it's a race against time as these reluctant partners fight to stave off passion and save a life.

My Thoughts: This novella fits into the series after SLEEP WITH THE LIGHTS ON and before WAKE TO DARKNESS.  Rachel's assistant Amy disappears on the way to Thanksgiving Dinner with her family. Her plans had been to take her new boyfriend home with her. Rachel never liked the guy; she feels that something isn't right about him. So, she snaps a picture of his car showing his license plate when he takes off with her.

When Amy's mother calls the next morning to say that Amy didn't arrive, Rachel's first call is to Mason who drops everything to help her. They quickly learn that Rachel was right about the boyfriend. He was married and cheating on his wife. He says that he told Amy about it the night before and she - very angrily - broke up with him.

Mason and Rachel decide to retrace her steps and soon find her abandoned car. I like the relationship between Mason and Rachel. Neither one is in a place where they feel comfortable starting a relationship but the chemistry between them is hot. I also like Rachel's relationship with her blind bulldog Myrtle. She may talk tough but Rachel has a heart of marshmallow for the dog.

This was a nice bridge between the first two books in this series as it has Rachel show her affection for Amy and lets the tension build even more between Mason and Rachel.

Favorite Quote:
How do you write sunshine and rainbows when you're wishing you could poke someone in the windpipe with an acrylic nail?
I bought this one for my Kindle. You can buy your copy here.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Teaser Tuesday: Innocent Prey by Maggie Shayne

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Teaser:
"I'm gonna need another girl," he said to the person on the phone.

And that was the last thing she ever heard.
My teaser this week comes from Innocent Prey by Maggie Shayne. This is the third book in the Brown and DeLuca romantic suspense series. I got the first two books from the Amazon Vine program and got hooked. Here is the description from Amazon:
To save innocent lives, they'll have to risk their own. 

Self-help superstar Rachel de Luca and Detective Mason Brown have finally given in to their overwhelming attraction to each other, but neither of them is ready to let physical passion turn into full-blown romance, so they carefully maintain an emotional distance. Then a judge's daughter disappears, and Mason has a terrible sense that it's connected to the most recent case they solved together: the abduction of Rachel's assistant.

The discovery of a string of missing women—all young, all troubled—seems like a promising lead. But there's no clear connection between the missing girls and the high-profile young woman Mason is trying to find. He realizes that once again he'll have to rely on his own well-honed instincts and Rachel's uncanny capacity to see through people's lies in order to catch a predator and rescue his captives. But can they do it before Rachel becomes his next victim?

Monday, January 26, 2015

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (Jan. 26, 2015)

It's Monday, What Are You Reading? is a meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journey.

It’s Monday!  What Are You Reading, is where we gather to share what we have read this past week and what we plan to read this week.  It is a great way to network with other bloggers, see some wonderful blogs, and put new titles on your reading list.

Last week was as busy as I thought it was going to be. I managed to get everything done. I still have to print report cards for two classes which is my task for Monday afternoon. I know what my Kindergarten, First Grade, Second Grade and Fourth Grade students are doing for the first two weeks of the new semester. I need to concentrate on plans for my Sixth Graders because I only know what they are doing for the first two days. That is also a task for Monday afternoon. 

My schedule flip-flops now that the second semester is beginning. I will start my day at the High School and finish it at the Elementary. I hope I remember where to go when I get in the car on Monday morning! It is hard to believe that our school year is already half over.  

Read Last Week
The Grendel Affair by Lisa Shearin was a fun urban fantasy novel. I really like the main characters voice. The story was also action-packed. My review will be posted on Feb. 28.

The Memory Key by Liana Liu was an excellent science fiction story that was also part mystery. I enjoyed this one too. It will be released on March 3. My review will be posted on Feb. 26.
Cursed Moon by Jaye Wells is the second book in the Prospero's War series and is an urban fantasy. I enjoyed this one even more than I enjoyed the first one. The characters are nicely complex and the plot was engaging and action-packed. My review will be posted on March 5 for this one.

How to Win at High School by Owen Matthews was a gritty contemporary about the rise and fall of a young man. It was a combination of prose and poetry and had over 300 very short chapters that each spotlighted one brief moment. It was very intriguing. My review for this March 3 release will be posted on Feb. 28.

Currently
Next up on my YA review stack is The Winner's Crime by Marie Rutkoski. I enjoyed The Winner's Curse and look forward to reading this one too.

Next Week
The next three on my YA review stack are Lost Boy by Tim Green which will be released on March 3, Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman which will be released on March 10, and Boys Don't Knit by T. S. Easton which will be released on March 24.
The first adult book I plan to read this week is Trace of Magic by Diana Pharaoh Francis.

After that, I am not sure. I have a couple of books arriving on my Kindle this week - Bound by Flames by Jeaniene Frost and The Dragon Conspiracy by Lisa Shearin - which are both urban fantasy. Reading them would help toward my goal of reading books as I buy them. I would like to end 2015 with very few unread 2015 additions unlike 2014 when I added 621 books to my stack and still have 328 unread.

Of course, that policy won't help me whittle down TBR mountain very fast. Not counting review books, I have 2080 unread books on the mountain right now.

Reviews Posted
Want to See What I Added to My Stack Last Week?
Did you take part in the National Readathon on Saturday? I managed to read for a couple of hours during the readathon hours and a few hours after it was over.

What was your week like? Leave me a link and I'll come visit.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Stacking the Shelves (Jan. 25, 2015)

Tynga of Team Tynga's Reviews has a meme to spotlight the books we receive each week. Visit her site to check out the linky and see what everyone gets. I guarantee that your TBR pile will grow. 

I added three books to my stack this week.
Teacher Beware by Charlotte Raine was free for my Kindle. I saw this book on Twitter and thought it might be an interesting romantic suspense title.

The Glass Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg was a Kindle Daily Deal this week. Of course, The Paper Magician is still sitting unread on my Kindle. At least, when I find the time, I will have both books in the series.
First Time in Forever by Sarah Morgan is a review book that I got from Meryl Moss Media. It sounded like an interesting contemporary romance. I am set to be on the blog tour on March 19 for this Feb. 24 release.

What did you add to your stack this week?

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Book Review: Bring on the Heat by Katie Rose

Bring on the Heat
Author: Katie Rose
Series: The Boys of Summer (Book 1)
Publication: Loveswept (August 26, 2014)

Description: In Katie Rose’s irresistible battle of wits, a case of mistaken identity lands a female fan in bed with a sexy superstar—and in major-league trouble.

House-sitting for a rich and famous friend has its perks, and Darcy Hamel isn’t shy about enjoying them. Especially when it means scoring a ticket to an exclusive fashion show hosted by the New Jersey Sonics. An avid baseball fan, Darcy has always dreamed of meeting the team—especially the starting pitcher whose body is as hot as his fastball. But there’s a catch. The gala is by invitation only. To get behind the velvet rope, mild-mannered Darcy will have to pose as party girl Lydia Logan.

Schmoozing is one of the downsides of fame, but Chase Westbrook knows how to liven up even the dullest event. And nothing spices a night up more than a beautiful socialite with a naughty reputation. What Chase doesn’t expect is a hint of sweetness beneath her sultry façade. Flirtation turns to seduction and leaves him aching for more. Chase just doesn’t know who the real Lydia is: the spoiled tease crying foul over some missing diamonds or the alluring woman making a play for his heart.

My Thoughts: This is the romance between Darcy Hamilton, house sitter, and Chase Westbrook, major league pitcher. Darcy is a big baseball fan. So when she is offered the chance to attend a fund raiser and meet the team by using her employer's invitation, she jumps at it. Her employer Lydia Logan tells her to borrow appropriate clothing from her closet. Darcy never expects to be mistaken for Lydia but, once she is, she has a hard time clearing things up. She meets Chase at the party and his is attracted to her - or is he attracted to Lydia?

Darcy has too much to drink and goes home with Chase but passes out before the have sex. When she awakens early the next morning, her first impulse is to go home but she forgets the diamond earrings that she borrowed from Lydia. She has to keep up the impersonation long enough to get Lydia's earrings back.

Chase, meanwhile, wants to stay close to Lydia because her grandfather has an interest in the Yankees and they are the team that he wants to play for. Being with the Yankees would meet his father's criteria for success.

Both characters have ulterior motives but they also get to know each other and fall in love. This was a nice romance. Fans of sports romances will enjoy this one.

Favorite Quote:
Darcy waved at the air, ignoring the glances she got from an elderly gentleman as she made her way back to the table. She'd gone to the ladies' room, where she'd ditched the Spanx, unwilling to be uncomfortable one more minute. The hell with her tummy.
I bought this one for me Kindle. You can buy your copy here

Friday, January 23, 2015

Friday Memes: Bring on the Heat by Katie Rose

Happy Friday everybody!
Book Beginnings on Friday is now hosted by Rose City Reader. The Friday 56 is hosted at Freda's Voice. Check out the links above for the rules and for the posts of the participants each week. Don’t dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.

This week I am spotlighting Bring on the Heat by Katie Rose. This is the first book in the Boys of Summer spicy romance series. I am a big fan of sports romances and couldn't resist when I saw that this book was only $.99 (although it's back to $2.99 now). Here is the description from Amazon:
In Katie Rose’s irresistible battle of wits, a case of mistaken identity lands a female fan in bed with a sexy superstar—and in major-league trouble.

House-sitting for a rich and famous friend has its perks, and Darcy Hamel isn’t shy about enjoying them. Especially when it means scoring a ticket to an exclusive fashion show hosted by the New Jersey Sonics. An avid baseball fan, Darcy has always dreamed of meeting the team—especially the starting pitcher whose body is as hot as his fastball. But there’s a catch. The gala is by invitation only. To get behind the velvet rope, mild-mannered Darcy will have to pose as party girl Lydia Logan.

Schmoozing is one of the downsides of fame, but Chase Westbrook knows how to liven up even the dullest event. And nothing spices a night up more than a beautiful socialite with a naughty reputation. What Chase doesn’t expect is a hint of sweetness beneath her sultry façade. Flirtation turns to seduction and leaves him aching for more. Chase just doesn’t know who the real Lydia is: the spoiled tease crying foul over some missing diamonds or the alluring woman making a play for his heart.
Beginning:
Darcy Hamilton pulled up to the Moorestown estate in her 2005 blue Honda Civic. The car was good on gas, but appeared a little battered in the luxurious cul-de-sac lined with million-dollar homes and BMWs.
Friday 56: 
The car arrived far too quickly, and Chase reluctantly let her go as he leaned forward and opened the door. "Whew," he said, grinning at her in admiration. "I knew you were gorgeous, but goddamn."

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Book Review: Trust No One by Jayne Ann Krentz

Trust No One
Author: Jayne Ann Krentz
Publication: Putnam Adult (January 6, 2015)

Description: It’s no coincidence when Grace Elland finds a vodka bottle next to the lifeless body of her boss, motivational speaker Sprague Witherspoon. The bottle is a terrifying—and deliberate—reminder of the horrors of her past.

Grace retreats to her hometown to regroup and tries to put everything she’s learned about positive thinking into practice—a process that is seriously challenged on the world’s worst blind date.

Awkward doesn’t begin to describe her evening with venture-capitalist Julius Arkwright. She has nothing in common with a man who lives to make money, but the intense former Marine does have some skills that Grace can use—and he’s the perfect man to help her when it becomes clear she is being stalked.

As Witherspoon’s financial empire continues to crumble around them, taking a deadly toll, Julius will help Grace step into her past to uncover a devious plan to destroy not only Grace, but everyone around her…

My Thoughts: The story begins with Grace Elland discovering the body of her employer. He was murdered and a bottle of vodka was left at his side. The vodka triggers memories of when Grace was sixteen and she killed a man who had murdered his wife and was about to murder a young boy and her. Grace still suffers from nightmares. After losing her job, she moves to her old family home in Cloud Lake. She meets Julius Arkwright when her best friend and her husband set them up on a blind date. Julius is a very successful venture capitalist.

Julius and Grace become close when they begin to investigate the stalker that Grace has attracted. I loved the Grace was a positive thinking sort of person. I also loved that she was a master marketer who was largely responsible for her boss's success as a motivational speaker. Julius is a much more cynical person. While Grace is constantly coming up with motivational slogans, Julius has only two rules: Trust No One and Everyone has a Hidden Agenda.

This story was filled with romance and danger. I enjoyed both the suspense and the growing relationship between Julius and Grace.

Favorite Quote:
She gave him a cold smile. "Sprague Witherspoon said that one of my assets was that I think outside the box."

"There's thinking outside the box and there's failing to be able to find the box in the first place. You can't appreciate the new model until you understand the old one and why it isn't working anymore."
I bought this one. You can buy your copy here.