zondag 11 oktober 2015

Jodi Thomas – Twisted Creek

A stand alone novel, published April 1, 2008.
Genre: contemporary romance
Cover: relaxing

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Bad luck has been biting at Allie Daniel's heels all her life, so when she inherits a tiny café in a small Texas lake community she's sure there must be a catch. But Allie brings her grandmother along, and the café gives Nana a chance to do what she loves best-cook. As Allie settles in and tries to make the best of what surely must be a mistake in an old man’s will, the people of the lake drop by. Lonely folk discover there’s always a table available, with down-home food to warm the soul. An old maid, a shy young man, and a drifter who races the moon across the lake slowly become the family Allie never had. When trouble comes, Allie finds that she's not alone anymore - and that, sometimes, the only cure for bad luck is the courage to love.

There was something about this blurb that make me pick it up and put it aside to read from my new collection of 400 books. I have never read Jodi Thomas before, and can’t remember reading any reviews that stayed with me.

It is not a typical book at all, the feeling was so very different. It was told kind of quietly, from two points of view, changing each chapter. But it was compelling from the first page, and I just had to keep reading.
Allie has been living with her grandmother all her life, as her mother abandoned her at the first opportunity for a better life in the city. Allie has no real education, and so they are kind of travelling from town to town after her grandfather died and they had to leave the farm. Finding a job here or there, and hoping for something better around the corner. And when it finally comes in the form of an inheritance from a man she doesn’t know, she is convinced it is all a mistake.
But she packs up their meagre belongings, and they are on their way to Twisted Creek and the ramshackle inn/shop she inherited. And Allie and Nonna make a go at it, especially since people start delivering things that were apparently ordered by the previous owner before he died.

I did like Allie, and how she tried to make a living for herself and her grandmother, and refused to give it up to her mother when she suddenly showed up and tried to take it away from them, like she had at times before.

But this book was seriously different from my usual reading. It was quietly told, and the people that showed up in the book were strange characters, but they somehow fit together and then there was the mysterious stranger who became interested in Allie.
But there is no fun or light banter, no flirting as I am used, no hot love scenes. There is some suspense as a drug ring is operating in the area, and a bit of danger in the end, but it is all just happening. Allie just accepts everything that happens, she does not act passionately, or angry or happy or anything.

And still I really liked this book. And I have not really a clue why. I think I have one more book by this author, and I will try to read it soon to compare the writing style.

7 stars.

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

© 2015 Reviews by Aurian

zaterdag 10 oktober 2015

New additions to my addiction

Stapel boeken

My 9th new additions post for 2015. These are the new books I have bought in the past month, and I really enjoyed some of those already 

From Bookdepository:

Anthology - Down the Rabbit Hole - with J.D. Robb
Jennifer Ashley - The Stolen Mackenzie Bride
Christine Feehan - Dark Blood
Jacquelyn Frank - Bound by Sin

From Amazon:
Pip Ballantine & Tee Morris: The Diamond Conspiracy

Bought at the bookfair:

Joan Aiken - Eliza's Daughter
Keri Arthur - Circle of Desire
Rita Mae Brown & Sneaky Pie Brown - Hiss of Death
Clive Cussler - Devil's Gate
Clive Cussler - The Silent Sea
Lauren Dane - Mesmerized
Sharon Lathan - In the arms of Mr. Darcy
Donna Leon - Drawing Conclusions
Kat Richardson - Possession
Kat Richardson - Seawitch
Mary Lydon Simonsen - The perfect bride for Mr. Darcy
Dana Stabenow - Hunter's Moon
Carrie Vaughn - Kitty's Big Trouble

Swapped with Blodeuedd:

Macy Beckett - A shot of Sultry
Macy Beckett - Sultry with a Twist
Macy Beckett - Surrender to Sultry
Deborah Cooke - Whisper Kiss
Jane Feather - Kissed by Shadows
Rachel Gibson - See Jane Score
Virginia Kantra - Sea Lord
Deirdre Martin - Fair Play
Rhonda Mason - The Empress Game
Christy Reece - Second Chance
Lynsay Sands - Single White Vampire
Lynsay Sands - Tall Dark and Hungry
Lynsay Sands - Taming the highland bride
Jeri Smith-Ready - Bad tot the Bone
Jeri Smith-Ready - Bring on the Night
Juliana Stone - The Christmas he loved her
Juliana Stone - The day he kissed her
Juliana Stone - The summer he came home
Victoria Vane - Slow Hand

A gift from Sullivan McPig:
Jeffe Kennedy - Master of the Opera

And yes, Blodeuedd, I still blame you for making me buy Pride and Prejudice variations! Lol, I do like them secretly.

© 2015 Reviews by Aurian

vrijdag 9 oktober 2015

Heather Webber – Weeding out Trouble

The fifth book in the Nina Quinn series, published July 29, 2008.
Genre: cozy mystery
Cover: what a sad looking dog

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Landscaper Nina Quinn would do anything for her employees. After all, Taken by Surprise, her garden makeover business, wouldn't be blooming if it weren't for them. So when Kit Pipe, her right-hand handyman, goes missing, Nina immediately starts digging into his disappearance. But all she finds is Daisy Bedinghaus, Kit's ex - and she's dead as dirt.
An ex-con who'd been dumped by Daisy not long before her murder, Kit's the prime suspect. But Nina's determined to prove his innocence and nip this whole thing in the bud. After all, it'll get her out of her all-too-crowded house, where her ex-husband the cop is recovering from a gunshot wound on her couch and her thorny new stepson is giving her the evil eye. But as she comes closer to unearthing the truth, Nina will find that facing the frost in her home is nothing compared to confronting the real killer's ice-cold stare.

The fifth book already in this fun cozy mystery series. Only two more to go. And I will be very sad if I have read that last book, as I love Nina Quinn, her crazy family and her friends and neighbours. They really are a tight knit group, and most of them are very quirky.

When Nina comes home after a long day and discovers her ex-husband in her house, she is not happy. Especially when she learns he has no other place to go and recover from being shot, as his current girl friend is out of state, and he needs looking after. Her stepson Riley (who is living with her instead of with his father) implores her to let his father stay as he is all the family he has left, and so Nina doesn’t really have a choice. Lucky for her, her mother (who dislikes Kevin for cheating on her) will take care of him, so Nina won’t have to do that.

She has bigger problems. Her favourite employee is missing, and accused of murder. Nina is certain he did not do it, but he certainly has his looks working against him in this. The police seem to consider him the only real suspect, and they are tailing her wherever she goes, determined that she will lead them to Kit’s hiding place in due time.
So if the police will not even try to solve the case, it is up to Nina and her friends, including her old English teacher Ursula, to find the real killer. And there are more scary suspects to choose from …

A great mystery, a great ending and I had a lot of fun reading this book. I am happy that Nina has her own new love interest, and she can escape her full house to be with him at times. I really like him, and I am glad she turned Kevin down but good when he tried to make up with her. The louse.

It is a fun series, with really good mysteries and great characters. Recommended.

9 stars.

Autobuy authorLove this book

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

© 2015 Reviews by Aurian

woensdag 7 oktober 2015

Eileen Wilks – Blood Lines

The third book in the World of the Lupi series, published January 2, 2007.
Genre: urban fantasy
Cover: good, but not what I expect Cynna to look like at all.

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Touch-sensitive FBI agent Lily Yu and her werewolf bond-mate are recruited by the Secret Service to help identify elected officials who have accepted demonic pacts. But Lily must turn to fellow agent Cynna Weaver for help when Cynna’s former teacher, a demon master, emerges as the main suspect behind the pacts.
After a demon commits a gruesome murder, sorcerer Cullen Seabourne joins the team racing the clock to find the apprentice of evil who uses demons to kill. Cynna and Cullen must work together – a challenge indeed when each has good reason to ignore the desire simmering between them. But passion and events both spiral out of control as an ancient prophecy is fulfilled – and the lupi’s greatest enemy sets her sights on total devastation…

Every time I pick up one of these books, I think: why did it take me so long to get the next one? I really do enjoy this series. I like Lily, and how she does her best to balance her duties as an FBI agent with her inability to be far away from her werewolf mate, Rule. She is learning the ways of the Lupi, and uses it in her work at the Paranormal Division. You might think, anothere werewolf book? Been there, done that, they are a dime a dozen. But I promise you, there are truly different. I love how Eileen Wilks has created their society, the different clans, and how they all work on behalf of their Goddess, and fighting an evil one who cannot be named and who is trying to kill them all.

So when Lily is asked to help find some high level politicians who might have been swayed by demons, she needs Cynna’s help finding the demon master. Especially when suddenly demons start killing werewolf heirs. Rule is attacked as well, but he manages to survive. At the cost of a new friend, and that brings a huge obligation and a lot of danger with it for him.

And then Rule’s best friend and sorcerer Cullen gets into it as well. He is intrigued by Cynna and wants to know more about how her magic works. And yes, he wants her in his bed as well.

I also liked Cullen en Cynna from the previous two books. I still don’t know enough about Cynna’s back ground and how she became so powerful, but I like her. She did not have an easy life, but she is feisty and she tries to do her job even when her old mentor is involved in it. And when Cynna and Cullen do have sex, it sure changes her whole life, again.
Of course, the Lady is also after her, to take over for one of her “priestesses”, but Cynna is so far not interested in the job. With this new twist in her life, she might not have a choice any more. But she certainly won’t take it like a doormat, I know she will fight for her independence for a long time. And I like that, a lot.
Cullen has been clanless for a long time, as werewolves don’t like sorcerers, and he is one, a strong one. But recently he was taken in by Rule’s father, so now he is part of their clan, and proud and protective of it.

I really do look forward to see how it all evolves in the next books. It will be good!

So, unusual werewolf society, great world building, fights between ancient goddesses that involves the Lupi, and of course, Lily’s grandmother. We finally get a bit more info about her, and she has a connection with the dragons that came back from the Hell dimension with Lily and Rule in the last book! I want to know more about that as well! She is such an awesome character.

9 stars.

A blogger made me buy it

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

© 2015 Reviews by Aurian

maandag 5 oktober 2015

Guestreview: Annie West - Seducing his enemy's daughter

Guestreview by Freya
A stand alone, published September 15, 2015.
Genre: contemporary romance
Cover: fits the genre

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Just A Pawn In Salazar's Game?
Donato Salazar can't forget his tragic past and he has no intention of forgiving the man responsible. Jilting his enemy's daughter will be the icing on the cake of his revenge, and beautiful Ella Sanderson is certainly sweet enough.
Except Ella isn't the vacuous socialite he expected, and she refuses to marry him! Her rebelliousness only makes Donato want her more, so he'll have to persuade her... touch by breathtaking touch. But soon Donato finds himself enthralled by their magnetic connection...
As their fake wedding day approaches one question weighs heavily on Donato's mind: will he love, honour... and betray?

I’ve been talking about my love of Annie West books several times on this blog. I like the way she gave me back the pleasure of reading short stories from Harlequin. These books were the first romances I’ve read. But the use of too standard storylines, too much a-hole ‘heroes’, heroines I couldn’t identify with and other reasons made me stop reading these little books. But reading Annie West books is remembering the tropes and seeing them turned around and spun into a lovely story.

So when Annie offered her latest books for review, I jumped at it. Imagine my surprise when she send me a paper book, all the way from Australia, instead of an digital copy, what I expected.

This is a “Big Secret” book and a “I punish the woman for the crimes her father/brother/distant cousin did” book. I used to hate those books. The Big Mis and Big Secret books are frustrating and the Punishment trope is also cringeworthy, mostly.
But once again Annie turned the tropes upside down. The crime the father did is very real. Also the way the relationship developed is beautifully done. They both have their secrets and know this of each other. I don’t want to spoiler how it develops, but it doesn’t go as I would expect, having read too many of these kinds of stories. No accidental, dramatic reveal of secrets, but reason, communication and love. It gave me a nice warm feeling. That’s why I will keep on buying and reading Annie’s books.

Freya photo Freya 2_zpseia5fuhr.jpg

© 2015 Reviews by Freya

zaterdag 3 oktober 2015

Delores Fossen – Truly, Madly, Briefly / Katie Gallagher – Tried and True

A stand alone novel, published June 1, 2003.
Genre: romantic comedy
Cover: fun

Truly Madly Briefly / Tried and True photo c11278_zpsmszf2lkl.jpg

Delores Fossen – Truly, Madly, Briefly

Are your undies safe?
Bobbie Callahan can ID a briefs man from a boxers kind of guy from fifty paces - managing the family's men's lingerie factory will do that to a girl. When a case of superlarge men's thongs disappears not once, but twice, she calls in the sheriff. Aidan O'Shea is thrilled to be called. Not just because the tiny Texas town had all but put the Boston cop to sleep, but because Bobbie's the sexiest gal around!

O this book was hilarious. Every chapter starts with the catalogue description of one of the pieces of male underwear Bobbie is selling, and it had me in stitches. And then those descriptions were used by her trying to explain things to the new sheriff.
Aidan is in some kind of exchange program, having a new post every six months. This little village is driving him crazy though. All the women seem to be after him, making up excuses to have him visit their homes, or come into his office and proposition him. So when Bobbie gives him a real case to investigate, he jumps on it. Bobbie has some other problems as well, her ex-fiancée won’t take no for an answer, even though he stood her up at the altar twice now, but Bobbie is really though with him this time.
So perhaps they can help each other out with their relationship problems by pretending to be together?

I had such fun reading this book, I just hope someday I will find the other book by Harlequin Duets with her fun story: The deputy gets her man. As far as I can see, she has written piles of cowboy and Harlequin intrigue books, but nothing else this funny.

9 stars.

Katie Gallagher – Tried and True

The sheriff has met his match!

Socialite Clementine Spencer is looking for a change. She's always been a good girl and listened to her mother, but no longer! So a month before her wedding she jumps into her car and takes a secret road trip. When she ends up in Tried and True, Kansas, she knows she has to make a decision and figure out what she wants. And what she wants is Callum McCutcheon, the town's sexy sheriff! If only he weren't so stubborn and would admit he wants her, too!

This was such a fun story! Clementine Spencer is a rich heiress, and a really nice girl, not a rich spoiled bitch. She has finally told her fiancé she doesn’t want to marry him, she told her mother she was going on a roadtrip for a month to figure out what she wants for herself, and now she is stranded in Tried and True, Kansas. Her overbearing mother doesn’t take kindly to this though, and she has had Clementine’s bank accounts frozen, and her credit cards cancelled. And so she has to live on the money she has in her pocked, and the gas in the tank of her vintage car. But now she has come to this tiny village, and it appeals to her. She gets a job as a waitress, even though she doesn’t know anything about being on, but she is a quick learner, and the locals like her a lot.
What she doesn’t know, is that the local women are really fanatic about matchmaking, they need to keep the young people in their town and not have them go looking for more in the big city. And they have their eyes on her with the local doctor, or with the local sheriff. And yes, the sheriff is certainly attracted to her, but he is not interested in a woman who will move away in a few weeks. But still, he can’t stay away from her either …

I liked Clementine a lot, she is a nice person, and now she is finally growing a backbone against her mother, and standing up for what she wants. Making her own decisions, living her own life, and not what her mother wants for her.
Of course Callum is droolworthy, and he wants to protect her from danger, and prevent her from leaving his town, but I still think he could have explained things to her. She is not stupid after all. A sweet and very fun romance, thanks to the matchmaking ladies and their pie’s.

8 stars.

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

© 2015 Reviews by Aurian

donderdag 1 oktober 2015

New books to look forward to for October 2015

This is the list of new releases for the month of October 2015 I am looking forward to:

Heather Blake – Ghost of a potion – Magic Potion mystery 3
Jennifer Estep – Dark Heart of Magic – Black Blade 2
Karen Hawkins – Sabrina Jeffries – What happens under the mistletoe – anthology
Kate Collins – Florist Grump – Flower Shop Mystery 17
Laura Childs – Parchment and Old Lace – Scrapbooking Mystery 13 HC
Laura Childs – Gossamer Ghost – Scrapbooking Mystery 12 PB
Lisa Kleypas – Cold-Hearted Rake
Nora Roberts - Christmas with you
Suzanne Enoch – Some like it Scot – Scandalous Highlander 4
Yasmine Galenorn – Autumn Thorns – Whisper Hollow 1

I have read a total of 19 books this month, and I am very happy with that, as I also spend a lot of time watching Masterchef Australia 2015. That was a great season, lots of nice people in it. But my favourite one became second.

Did I match my reading solutions for last month? Again, almost! I need to read some review books soon.

I have read 2 cozy mysteries:
- Susan Wittig Albert - The Darling Dahlias and the Silver Dollar Bush
- Jenn McKinlay - Sprinkle with murder

lots of books longer than 1 year on my shelf:
- Cecy Robson - A cursed embrace
- Louis L'Amour - End of the Drive
- Anne Bishop 5 books (and Shalador's Lady twice)
- Pip Ballantine & Tee Morris - Dawn's Early Light
- Jennifer Ashley - Perils of the Heart
- Jenn McKinlay - Sprinkle with murder
- Nora Roberts - Dance to the Piper

no books I have won / been gifted / given for review:

and for my Kindle freebie/Nora Roberts challenge:
- Nora Roberts - Dance to the Piper

© 2015 Reviews by Aurian