Wednesday, October 1, 2014

ARC Review: A Penny for the Hangman by Tom Savage

A Penny for the Hangman
Author: Tom Savage
Publication: Alibi (October 7, 2014)

Description: In Tom Savage’s chilling novel of suspense, an ambitious reporter is beckoned to an island paradise for the story of a lifetime. But this scoop might just be the death of her.

Fifty years ago, on the Caribbean island of St. Thomas, two teenagers born to privilege were convicted of slaughtering their parents in cold blood. Today the men are free and a Hollywood movie has been made about the murders. For Karen Tyler, an eager New York journalist, the case is irresistible. She has been invited to the Virgin Islands for an interview that’s too good to pass up . . . and sounds too good to be true.

Karen packs her bikini and her digital recorder and follows an ingeniously designed trail that leads her to a wealthy, mysterious figure. The man claims to be one of the notorious boys, but Karen soon learns that all is not as it seems. On this isolated utopia of sun and surf, a young reporter far from home fights for the truth—and for her life. Because the shocking secret behind the infamous atrocities has remained hidden all these years. And the killing isn't over yet.

My Thoughts: What an excellent thriller! Young reporter Karen Tyler is given the chance at the story of a lifetime when she is invited to the US Virgin Islands to interview one of the two men who committed a spectacular murder there fifty years before. Rodney Harper and Wulf Anderman were convicted of the brutal murder of their parents and Rodney's parents' housekeeper. They were fourteen and fifteen at the time. Many books were written about the case; there was a movie; there was even a Broadway show. Now with the anniversary coming up, a new movie is being made. All indications are that it will be a blockbuster.

This story is told as excerpts from Rodney's childhood diary, excerpts from Karen's childhood diary, excerpts from a book written by the police sergeant who worked the case. It is told from the viewpoint of Karen's boyfriend Jim who finishes writing the story. It is told through articles that Karen wrote when she was researching the case. There are also Rodney's current diary entries on CD. All of these are woven together to tell a chilling tale of murder, obsession, and revenge.

The characters were all well-written and realistic. The plot was fast-paced and very engaging. The story was filled with mystery and danger.

Fans of thrillers will enjoy this one.

Favorite Quote:
"Rodney Harper had been drenched," he whispered, "absolutely covered in blood. If you'd seen the victims, what was done to them, you'd expect that. Wulf Anderman was dressed the same as Rodney—a dark turtleneck and blue jeans—and he had all that shiny blond hair, but there was hardly any blood on him,. Just a little, on the right sleeve and the right knee of his pants." He looked away from Karen again, out at the nighttime view. "That place was a slaughterhouse. How do you suppose Wulf stayed so clean?"
I got this eARC through NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Teaser Tuesday: Two of a Kind by Susan Mallery

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:
Considering all the variables, it was somewhat surprising that men and women ever got together in the first place. A testament to tenacity, or a higher power with a wicked sense of humor? To be honest, she wasn't sure which.
This week my teaser comes from Two of a Kind by Susan Mallery. I got this book for review from Amazon Vine. It is the 11th book in the Fool's Gold series of which I have read only book 1. Here is the description:
New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery welcomes readers back to Fool's Gold, where a onetime fling could become the real thing.…

Felicia Swift never dreamed she'd hear a deep, sexy voice from her past in tiny Fool's Gold, California. The last time Gideon Boylan whispered in her ear was half a world away…on the morning after the hottest night of her life. Her freaky smarts have limited her close friendships, and romance, but she came to Fool's Gold looking for ordinary. Gorgeous, brooding Gideon is anything but that.

Black Ops taught Gideon that love could be deadly. Now he pretends to fit in while keeping everyone at arm's length. Felicia wants more than he can give—a home, family, love—but she has a lot to learn about men…and Gideon needs to be the man to teach her.

As these two misfits discover that passion isn't the only thing they have in common, they just might figure out that two of a kind should never be split apart.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Book Review: Rock Courtship by Nalini Singh

Rock Courtship: A Rock Kiss Novella
Author: Nalini Singh
Publication: TKA Distribution (September 30, 2014)

Description: What happens when the Gentleman of Rock decides to play dirty?

A drummer for the hottest rock band on the planet, David has a single, powerful weakness: Thea, the band’s publicist and the woman who steals his breath away with her every move.

Only problem is, Thea doesn’t date clients—or musicians. Emotionally scarred by a cheating ex, she’s not about to risk her heart with a man who has groupies buzzing around him like flies. Even if his sexy smile ties her up in knots.

What she doesn't know is that David is a one-woman man...and he’s madly in love with her. David’s determined to prove he’s worth the risk, and willing to court her, step by exquisite step. Thea’s about to discover just how long and hard this handsome drummer can play.

My Thoughts: This Rock Kiss novella tells the story of David and Thea. David is the drummer for the hit rock group Schoolboy Choir. He and his band mates can have all the girls they want but the only one he wants is Thea. Thea is the band's publicist. She has a long standing rule of not dating clients or musicians.

David is getting his heart broken by Thea's perceived indifference until Thea's sister Molly encourages him to lay out his feeling in a memo. She knows that her sister won't be able to resist responding. Through memos David gets Thea to see him in a new way.

But Thea is still dealing with the betrayal of her former fiance and is not eager to trust her heart to the beautiful musician. David needs both patience and perseverance to win Thea's heart. And, just when things are finally going well, he gets hit with a paternity suit from a young woman who is looking to score big.

This was another spicy entry into the Rock Kiss series. I liked both characters very much and ached for them to have their happy ending.

Favorite Quote:
When you suffer such a big hurt, the longer you permit it to live in you, the bigger it grows, until it seeks to devour your soul.
I got this eARC from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (Sept. 29, 2014)

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.

This week was a mixed bag for me. It was Homecoming week at school which meant my students were in a variety of costumes each day and there was all sorts of excitement. The weather was marvelous. I walked between schools each day which added to my step totals. But I'm still not very close to 10,000 a day.

I had to cancel my trip to Eleanor Glewwe's book signing on Friday night because I had a car tire that was losing air and couldn't get it in to be checked until Saturday morning. That was probably a good thing because I came home after the parade on Friday with a very sore throat and runny nose. I've been dosing myself with cold remedies all weekend and lazing about on my couch.

Sunday morning, my clothes washer decided to quit working with my first load of laundry in it. I called for a repair person from the Yellow Pages who advertised that he worked after hours and had flexible hours but I'm still waiting to hear from him. Since I gave my home phone number as the call back number, I really can't run down to the local laundromat to finish my laundry.

See, a real mixed bag this week. I hope next week is less exciting.

Read Last Week
Rock Courtship by Nalini Singh was a novella in her new, very spicy contemporary romance series. I'll be posting my review on Sept. 29 later in the day.

Beware the Wild by Natalie C. Parker was her debut YA novel. It was very atmospheric and spooky and had a fascinating main character. My review will be posted on October 23.
The Gift of Darkness by V. M. Giambanca took up most of my reading time this week. It was a long but engaging police procedural that somehow made a murderer a sympathetic character. I enjoyed the story and look forward to more about the main character. My review will be posted on Oct. 25.

Get Happy by Mary Amato was a YA contemporary story about a young woman who learns that her mother has been keeping her from forming any sort of relationship with her father by telling her that he abandoned them. When she learns that her father has been trying to keep in touch, she is very conflicted. She works out her emotions in songs that end many of the chapters. My review will be posted on Oct. 25.

Currently
I am currently reading Waistcoats & Weaponry by Gail Carriger. This is the third in her Finishing School series. Sophronia and crew are up to all their old tricks with the added complications that come with growing up - boyfriends and future plans. 

Next Week
The next books on my adult stack are all mysteries. 

Path of Needles by Alison Littlewood
Caught Dead by Andrew Lanh
Here are the next two on my YA stack.

Killer Instinct by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
True Fire by Gary Meehan

Reviews Posted
Want to See What I Added to My Stack Last Week?
How was your week? Leave me a link and I'll come visit.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Stacking the Shelves (Sept. 28, 2014)

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 only added one book to my TBR mountain this week.
I am a fan of Iris Johansen's romantic suspense novels and had to have Live to See Tomorrow even though I still have others by Johansen on the mountain. I promise to get caught up soon (maybe).

What did you add to your stack this week?

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Book Review: The Man From Stone Creek by Linda Lael Miller

The Man from Stone Creek
Author: Linda Lael Miller
Series: A Stone Creek Novel
Publication: Harlequin HQN; Reprint edition (February 26, 2013)

Description: #1 New York Times bestselling author Linda Lael Miller presents the Stone Creek story that started it all…

When trouble strikes in Haven, Arizona, Ranger Sam O'Ballivan is determined to sort it out. Badge and gun hidden, he arrives posing as the new schoolteacher, and discovers his first task: bringing the ranchers' children under control. So he starts with a call on Maddie Chancelor, the local postmistress and older sister of a boy in need of discipline.

But far from the spinster Sam expects, Maddie turns out to be a graceful woman whose prim and proper demeanor is belied by the fire in her eyes. Working undercover to capture rustlers and train robbers has always kept Sam isolated and his heart firmly in check—until now. But something about the spirited postmistress tempts him to start down a path he swore he'd never travel….

My Thoughts: This was another excellent Western romance from a master of the genre. Sam O'Ballivan comes to town where he takes a job as the newest school master. He is actually an Arizona Ranger looking for a gang of robbers. When he first arrives, he has to rescue the current school master from the well where his students have put him. Sam catches one of the kids and decides he has to talk to his sister about the kid's behavior.

Maddie Chancelor runs the local general store and can't believe her brother is a troublemaker. However, she is attracted to the new school master and he is attracted to her too. Only problem - he has a girlfriend at home that he is planning to marry. He hasn't actually proposed but the expectation is there and he is an honorable man.

It doesn't take long for Sam to get involved in the town and meet the local rancher, his much younger and flirtatious wife, and his three older and one younger son. Sam suspects that at least some of the older sons are involved in the robberies. Maddie has her own reasons to stay away from them all. The rancher owns the General Store and has courted her in the past. She is also very cautious around his sons since she doesn't trust them at all.

I liked the setting of this one and the things that made it Western. We have the local madam who actually does have a heart of gold. We have saloon girls who didn't have any other career options. We have a poor widow-woman and her young daughter.

Sam is a great hero. He is honest, honorable, and has an overwhelming need to rescue anyone who needs rescuing from stray puppies to old horses to young kids.

This was a very enjoyable romance which also was a good mystery with some dangerous and exciting scenes.

Favorite Quote:
One of these days he was going to stop wanting to save worn-out horses and misguided girls and a whole lot of other things. It would be pure, blessed relief when that day came.
I got this book through Amazon Vine. You can buy your copy here.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Friday Memes: The Man from Stone Creek by Linda Lael Miller

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 The Man from Stone Creek by Linda Lael Miller. I got this book through the Amazon Vine program. Here is the description:
#1 New York Times bestselling author Linda Lael Miller presents the Stone Creek story that started it all…

When trouble strikes in Haven, Arizona, Ranger Sam O'Ballivan is determined to sort it out. Badge and gun hidden, he arrives posing as the new schoolteacher, and discovers his first task: bringing the ranchers' children under control. So he starts with a call on Maddie Chancelor, the local postmistress and older sister of a boy in need of discipline.

But far from the spinster Sam expects, Maddie turns out to be a graceful woman whose prim and proper demeanor is belied by the fire in her eyes. Working undercover to capture rustlers and train robbers has always kept Sam isolated and his heart firmly in check—until now. But something about the spirited postmistress tempts him to start down a path he swore he'd never travel….
Beginning:
The pint-size culprits, heretofore gathered around the well, scattered for the brush as soon as Sam O'Ballivan rode into the schoolyard on his nameless horse, but he'd seen enough to know they were up to no good.
Friday 56:
She followed him down the stone steps and he made a point of tucking his shirttail back in as soon as he was visible to the patrons of the cantina. He smoothed his hair, crossed to the table and reclaimed his hat. As an afterthought, he downed the whiskey, and it burned its way to his stomach.