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7/31/09

Book #137 The Girl She Used to Be by David Cristofano







4 out of 5




Product Description

When Melody Grace McCartney was six years old, she and her parents witnessed an act of violence so brutal that it changed their lives forever. The federal government lured them into the Witness Protection Program with the promise of safety, and they went gratefully. But the program took Melody's name, her home, her innocence, and, ultimately, her family. She's been May Adams, Karen Smith, Anne Johnson, and countless others--everyone but the one person she longs to be: herself. So when the feds spirit her off to begin yet another new life in another town, she's stunned when a man confronts her and calls her by her real name. Jonathan Bovaro, the mafioso sent to hunt her down, knows her, the real her, and it's a dangerous thrill that Melody can't resist. He's insistent that she's just a pawn in the government's war against the Bovaro family. But can she trust her life and her identity to this vicious stranger whose acts of violence are legendary?


About the Author

David Cristofano has earned degrees in Government & Politics and Computer Science from the University of Maryland at College Park and has worked for different branches of the Federal Government for over a decade. His short works have been published by Like Water Burning and McSweeneys. He currently works in the Washington, D.C. area where he lives with his wife, son and daughter. THE GIRL SHE USED TO BE is his first novel.


Hardcover: 256 pages
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; 1 edition (March 19, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0446582220
ISBN-13: 978-0446582223


What an unusual love story this turned out to be! I really wish I could find more books like this. Without revealing anything, the ending is really a nice twist on how love can change your life. I highly recommend this one.

7/30/09

Book #136 Dogfessions by Nikki Moustaki









5 out of 5





Product Description
You're shamelessly in love with your dog. And his adoration for you would eclipse the moon. But is love all there is to your relationship? When you come home to find the trash can toppled and a few "surprises" on your rug, what then? Behind your best friend's doting gaze, ever wonder what's he's really thinking?
Here's your chance to find out. Based on the website www.dogfessions.com, this full color collection contains hundreds of handmade postcards that reveal the deepest confessions from dogs and their owners. From unabashed admissions ("Yes, I made that puddle 5 minutes ago") to thoughtful revelations ("I think I kiss the dogs more than I kiss my husband") to self-affirmations ("I do this deliberately to look cute"), you'll steal a glimpse into the lives of dogs and their dearest devotees.
Brought to life with photographs, illustrations, and collages, each Dogfession is uniquely hilarious, bittersweet, oddly random, heartfelt, or outrageously silly. All together, they are addictively compelling and compulsively readable. But don't say we didn't warn you: If you have a soft spot for dogs and secrets, you'll sit, stay, and roll over for this irresistible book!



About the Author
Nikki Moustaki, M.A., M.F.A., founder of www.dogfessions.com and host of MSN.com's web TV show Celebrity Pet Dish, is a dog trainer and animal expert. With numerous books and articles to her credit, she has been featured on national TV and radio shows and works to help pet owners take better care of their furry and feathered friends. Nikki splits her time between New York City and Miami Beach, Florida, traveling with her two schnauzers and three parrots.



Product Details
Reading level: Ages 9-12
Hardcover: 160 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins; First Edition edition (May 27, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0061575615
ISBN-13: 978-0061575617


Obviously, I am a dog lover so this book was just a natural for me. This is the Post Secret for dogs and was a very cute read. It is directed at younger readers, but it is really a coffee table book. Best of all, dachshunds are well represented here. The pictures are priceless and the tags given to the photos are written either by the dogs themselves or the owner. This would make an excellent gift for the dog lover in your life.

7/29/09

Book #135 Twenties Girl: A Novel by Sophie Kinsella






4 out of 5



Product Description


Lara Lington has always had an overactive imagination, but suddenly that imagination seems to be in overdrive. Normal professional twenty-something young women don’t get visited by ghosts. Or do they?When the spirit of Lara’s great-aunt Sadie–a feisty, demanding girl with firm ideas about fashion, love, and the right way to dance–mysteriously appears, she has one last request: Lara must find a missing necklace that had been in Sadie’s possession for more than seventy-five years, and Sadie cannot rest without it. Lara, on the other hand, has a number of ongoing distractions. Her best friend and business partner has run off to Goa, her start-up company is floundering, and she’s just been dumped by the “perfect” man.Sadie, however, could care less.Lara and Sadie make a hilarious sparring duo, and at first it seems as though they have nothing in common. But as the mission to find Sadie’s necklace leads to intrigue and a new romance for Lara, these very different “twenties” girls learn some surprising truths from each other along the way. Written with all the irrepressible charm and humor that have made Sophie Kinsella’s books beloved by millions, Twenties Girl is also a deeply moving testament to the transcendent bonds of friendship and family.


Product Details
Hardcover: 448 pages
Publisher: The Dial Press (July 21, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0385342020
ISBN-13: 978-0385342025

When I first started Twenties Girl, I thought oh no, Sophie Kinsella has lost her touch. I also thought this was an attempt to cash in on the paranormal romance craze. I shouldn't have been worried though. After reading 100 pages, she was right on track with a great paranormal Chick Lit story where her main character, Lara finds the true meaning of life with her great aunt, Sadie, helping in a ghostly form. I don't think anyone else can write Chick Lit like Kinsella, although, I really enjoy her books written under her real name, Madeleine Wickham much better since they are a little darker in tone than the Shopaholic series.

I really did enjoy this one and found myself staying up late to finish it. I was also a little sad that it was over and didn't leave room for a sequel.


Book #134 Last Vampire Standing by Nancy Haddock


4 out of 5
Product Description
Second in the delightful series featuring a vampire princess in the Sunshine State, adjusting to life, undeath, and that brutal Floridian sun.228-year-old Francesca Marinelli thought her past was dead—then a stranger from the Atlanta vampire nest crashes her home looking for sanctuary. A budding stand-up comic, Jo-Jo’s running from an undead superior eager to drive a stake through the heart of his dream job. But Jo-Jo’s bad jokes aren’t the only dark clouds on the horizon. A psychotic vampire with a murderous agenda has followed Jo-Jo to Florida, putting everyone close to Francesca in danger.
Product Details
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Berkley Trade (May 5, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0425227545
ISBN-13: 978-0425227541
As soon as I finished this book, I wanted another installment. This is a good solid paranormal-mystery. The characters of Cesca and Deke are a great couple and the additional of J0-Jo was wonderful comic relief. Parts of the story reminded me of Christopher Moore and the author keeps the pages turning. Now, how long do I have to wait for more?

7/27/09

Book #133 Queen Takes King: A Novel by Gigi Levangie Grazer



4 out of 5

Product Description

Jackson Power. A name like the man himself: aggressive, ambitious, bullish. The prodigal son, heir to millions, built his own Manhattan real estate empire and revels in seeing his moniker -- Power! -- on glittering skyscrapers around the city that never sleeps. Beneath his desk in the towering Power headquarters, Jacks has a stack of newspapers and photographs of himself, shaking hands with the most famous men and women of his generation. Here's a man who's always loved to see his name in ink. Until now.
Cynthia Hunsaker Power. She is the epitome of elegance and society. The perfect foil for a man of Jacks's stature -- his first and only wife, he'd proudly tell any of his Master of the Universe (read: Gargoyle) friends. The former prima ballerina arrived in New York at eighteen, off the bus from Missouri, brimming with talent, beauty, and drive. She met a struggling painter, fell in love, and only later learned she'd won the Power lottery. Now she sits on the New York Ballet Theater board, effortlessly outdoing herself with one gala after another. But the press coverage of the Power silver anniversary party at the Waldorf takes the cake.
Jacks Power appears twice in the New York Post the next morning -- once gallantly dancing with his wife of twenty-five years, Cynthia; and once hand in hand with Lara Sizemore, morning television star, exiting her Upper West Side apartment building that very same night.
To Jackson Power, Lara is everything his wife Cynthia is not -- wild, voluptuous, mysterious, and self-sustaining. A new passion has swept Jacks off his well-shoed feet -- and she is Lara Sizemore. He is ready for the divorce, ready to marry his mistress, America's Sweetheart. But Cynthia isn't ready to be swept out of the picture quite so easily.
Let the Divorce Games begin.
Whether they're changing the locks on each other in their Park Avenue triplex or sabotaging each other's dinner parties, it's The People's Billionaire vs. The Ballerina, in a split-up that will trump the most scandalous divorces known to polite New York society. Cynthia's got their twenty-five-year-old artist daughter, Vivienne, in her camp; Jacks has the young bartending playwright Adrian, whom he intends to pay to seduce Cynthia into an easy split. But Cynthia might have a few tricks up her well-tailored Chanel sleeve, and she -- like Jacks -- is prepared to use every weapon in her divorce arsenal to win the game. It's a battle of wits, of charm, of two of the biggest egos -- and personalities and bank accounts -- in Manhattan, and neither side will go down without a fight.
From beloved and best selling author Gigi Levangie Grazer comes a sexy, sassy, smart new novel, Queen Takes King.

About the Author

Gigi Levangie Grazer is the author of three prior novels: Rescue Me (2000), Maneater (2003), and The Starter Wife (2006). The Starter Wife was adapted for an Emmy Award?winning USA Network miniseries starring Debra Messing, and later for a television series; Maneater was adapted for a Lifetime miniseries starring Sarah Chalke in May 2009. In addition, Gigi wrote the screenplay for Stepmom, starring Julia Roberts and Susan Sarandon. Gigi's articles have appeared in Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, and Glamour. She lives in L.A. with her two children and three miniature dachshunds.

Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster (June 16, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0743291999
ISBN-13: 978-0743291996

This is the perfect book to sit in the shade and read this summer. Juicy NYC rich elite lifestyle tidbits are mixed in with a nice rich character for a change. Queen Takes King was such a nice change of pace that stories are now geared toward older chick lit lovers like me. I thought a lot of the plot seemed to reflect the Trump divorce but maybe that is because I am on the west coast and don't hear much about the high profile divorce cases that go on there. I am sure there is a lot of dirt to go around.

Book #132 Shire Hell by Rachel Johnson



3 out of 5

Product Description

Mimi and Ralph have left social climbing, pushy parenting and their marital problems behind them in London, and moved west to the bucolic green depths of the country. Or so they thought. Yes, there's mud and masses of fresh air, plenty of handsome hayseeds and there's Rose, Mimi's new best friend and Dorset's answer to Martha Stewart. But what should be Shire Heaven is, it turns out, just as tricky to navigate as Notting Hell. There's low-level conflict between the racehorses in vintage/Diesel/Ralph Lauren and the brood mares in Barbour/Boden, there's guerrilla warfare between the landowners and eco-warriers and naked hostility between Old Money, New Money and No Money. Yes, in honeybourne, if you don't have:1) A landscaped garden within 1000 acres (minimum) of prime land2) A helipad for your trophy guests3) An organic farm shop selling 16 sorts of home-made sausages4) Four pony-mad polo-playing children5) A literary festival in your mini-stately6) A bottom that looks smackable in jodhpursThen, well...you're Mimi basically.And that's just the start of her problems. Mimi also has a secret. But can she keep it?

Product Details
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Penguin (January 1, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0141035692
ISBN-13: 978-0141035697

I absolutely loved the first in this series, Notting Hell, so as you can imagine I was a little disappointed with this one. Shire Hell is Notting Hell except everything takes place in the country. There are the same characters with the same issues and just a few of the clever quips I loved in Notting Hell. One label does stand out when Mimi describes trophy wives as "atrophy wives" when she is discussing the minds of these women. It was a decent read but didn't get me as excitied as the first one I read by this author.

Just Arrived: Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

DOESN'T THIS LOOK FABULOUS?


Product Description
For Nora Grey, romance was not part of the plan. She's never been particularly attracted to the boys at her school, no matter how much her best friend, Vee, pushes them at her. Not until Patch came along.
With his easy smile and eyes that seem to see inside her, Nora is drawn to him against her better judgment.
But after a series of terrifying encounters, Nora's not sure who to trust. Patch seems to be everywhere she is, and to know more about her than her closest friends. She can't decide whether she should fall into his arms or run and hide. And when she tries to seek some answers, she finds herself near a truth that is way more unsettling than anything Patch makes her feel.
For Nora is right in the middle of an ancient battle between the immortal and those that have fallen - and, when it comes to choosing sides, the wrong choice will cost her life.
About the Author
Becca Fitzpatrick grew up reading Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden with a flashlight under the covers. She graduated college with a degree in health, which she promptly abandoned for storytelling. When not writing, she's most likely prowling sale racks for reject shoes, running, or watching crime dramas on TV. HUSH, HUSH is her first novel. She lives in Colorado.
Product Details
Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing (October 13, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1416989412
ISBN-13: 978-1416989417
The cover alone is just wonderful....I wish the detail of the photograph would show up better. Thank you to Emily at Simon and Schuster.

7/24/09

Book #131 Six-Word Memoirs on Love and Heartbreak: by Writers Famous and Obscure





4 out of 5


Product Description
Love wounds the heart and soul . . .
From the editors of the New York Times bestseller Not Quite What I Was Planning comes another collection of terse true tales—this time simple sagas exploring the complexities of the human heart. Six-Word Memoirs on Love & Heartbreak contains hundreds of personal stories about the pinnacles and pitfalls of romance. Brilliant in their brevity, these insightful slivers of passion, pain, and connection capture every shade of love and loss—six words at a time.


Product Details
Paperback: 144 pages
Publisher: Harper Perennial (January 6, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0061714623
ISBN-13: 978-0061714627
I may have to come back and add my six word memoir to the reveiw. I can't think of one now. (oooohhhh, there I did it!) I am so addicted to this series of books. They are just fun and quick reading.

7/22/09

Book #130 Best Friends Forever





5 out of 5


Product Description
Some bonds can never be broken...
Addie Downs and Valerie Adler will be best friends forever. That's what Addie believes after Valerie moves across the street when they're both nine years old. But in the wake of betrayal during their teenage years, Val is swept into the popular crowd, while mousy, sullen Addie becomes her school's scapegoat.
Flash-forward fifteen years. Valerie Adler has found a measure of fame and fortune working as the weathergirl at the local TV station. Addie Downs lives alone in her parents' house in their small hometown of Pleasant Ridge, Illinois, caring for a troubled brother and trying to meet Prince Charming on the Internet. She's just returned from Bad Date #6 when she opens her door to find her long-gone best friend standing there, a terrified look on her face and blood on the sleeve of her coat. "Something horrible has happened," Val tells Addie, "and you're the only one who can help."
Best Friends Forever is a grand, hilarious, edge-of-your-seat adventure; a story about betrayal and loyalty, family history and small-town secrets. It's about living through tragedy, finding love where you least expect it, and the ties that keep best friends together.


Product Details
Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: Atria (July 14, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0743294297
ISBN-13: 978-0743294294
I should never read other reviews before I write my own. I loved this as a perfect summer read. It was light with just enough drama to keep the pages turning. After I finished it, I could have seen the plot a mile away, but that didn't register while I was reading it. This is more mature chick lit which I love reading.


7/21/09

Book #129 Dark Wood


4 out of 5



Product Description
Darkness falls so quickly in Howland that the people there have no word for evening. One minute the sky is light, the next minute it is black. But darkness comes in other forms, too, and for thirteen-year-old Annie, the misery she endures in her Uncle’s household makes the black of night seem almost soothing. When Annie escapes, her route takes her first to a dangerous mine where a precious stone is being stolen by an enemy of the king, and later to the king’s own halls, where a figure from Annie’s past makes a startling appearance. All the while, reported sightings of kinderstalk— mysterious, wolf-like creatures that prowl Howland’s dark forests—grow more frequent. Eloquent, suspenseful, and imbued with fairy-tale motifs found in The Brothers Grimm, this is a riveting coming-of-age story of a girl who must learn to trust her instincts if she’s to lead the people she is destined to rule.


About the Author
M.E. (Molly) Breen lives in San Francisco, where she works as a literacy advocate through the Carnegie Foundation. A graduate of Yale University, Molly has taught at both Yale and Stanford University. This is her first novel.


Product Details
Reading level: Ages 9-12
Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children's Books (May 12, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1599902591
ISBN-13: 978-1599902593



This one had a slow start for me. The characters are well written and the story really takes off after the first 100 pages, so stick with it as the end is worth it. This would be a great chapter book to read out loud since there is enough tension to keep children interested. It is very much a fairy tale written like Grimm's.

7/20/09

Book #128 Sugar Time





5 out of 5


Product Description

What if you got one last chance at both love and success but getting one meant giving up the other? Sugar Kane hasn't created a hit TV series in years but now she's older, wiser, and ready to prove she can still deliver - unless her young, scheming assistant doesn't steal her new show out from under her. Then Sugar faces a crisis that threatens her career, her health, and the unconditional love she's finally found, long after she stopped hoping she ever would. "A wise, funny novel about sex, love, money, family and friendship whose lusty, compelling heroine every woman over 50 will love and relate to as much as I did" Pepper Schwartz, author, "Prime: Adventures & Advice on Love, Sex and the Sensual Years" "This juicy, irreverent novel reclaims sex, romance and intimacy for women who are old enough to know that taking is as precious as giving." Suzanne Levine, author, "Fifty is the New Fifty"


Product Details
Paperback: 214 pages
Publisher: BookSurge Publishing (July 2, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1439237611
ISBN-13: 978-1439237618

This is one of those books that I started to read as soon as I got it home and didn't stop until I was finished. I absolutely love Chick Lit but I find myself becoming bored with what is offered. Maybe it is because I am not in my thirties any more -- heck, I am almost out of my forties now, so after reading the description of this book I knew I had to read it. It is so wonderful that authors are writing stories about "older" women.
The one liners in this book are worth the price of admission. There are no wasted words as well which get the point across without being bombarded with a thousand details that don't add to the story. All of the characters have life and you truly wouldn't mind having them as a friend.
I also wouldn't mind a sequel to this one as well....just to make sure everyone does live happily ever after. I highly recommend this one!

7/18/09

Just got this in the mail today....



I always peek at the first few pages of any book that I get in the mail....but this one started off so good that I couldn't put it down.

I should have a review up tomorrow....

Book #127 Season of the Witch







5 out of 5



Product Description


"The Matrix meets Interview with the Vampire in this sexy gothic thriller about two beautiful witch sisters and the love triangle that consumes the information thief who is drawn into their intrigues. Season of the Witch tells the story of Gabriel Blackstone: hacker, information thief, and skilled "remote viewer." Asked by a former lover to investigate the disappearance of her stepson, Gabriel's suspicions fall on Minnaloushe and Morrighan Monk, two beautiful sisters who live in a rambling Victorian house in London. Independently wealthy, the sisters spend their time dabbling in alchemy and the ancient Art of Memory - invented by the Greeks and used by alchemists and magi such as Giordano Bruno and Leonardo Da Vinci. The sisters are white, or "solar," witches, who aim to use alchemy not to turn lead into gold but to attain ultimate knowledge and therefore ultimate power. Gabriel soon becomes convinced that his client's son had been murdered and that one of the women is the killer. But which one? As Gabriel infiltrates the world of the sisters, he finds himself drawn inexorably deeper - becoming entranced even as he realizes that he is in mortal danger. When he is caught snooping, Gabriel must race to unlock their secrets before they can retaliate. To save himself - and the one he loves, presuming she is not guilty - Gabriel will have to fight one of the sisters within the landscape of her own mind."



About the Author


Natasha Mostert is the author of three previous novels, and her political opinion pieces have appeared on the Op-Ed pages of The New York Times and The Times of London. Author website: natashamostert.com.

Product Details
Paperback: 416 pages
Publisher: NAL Trade (March 4, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0451223357
ISBN-13: 978-0451223357

This was an excellent read if you love science fiction and fantasy. I read enjoy this genre so of course I loved this book. It does take a little effort to feel comfortable with some of the terminology and I just wish I had read the afterword before actually reading the book. A lot of things would have made more sense, but I found that I had to look up several people and things that the author brought up in the story. I love fiction based on fact. I read the hardcover edition.


Book #126 The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder: A Novel



4 out of 5
Product Description
Known for her beloved Ya-Ya books (Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, Little Altars Everywhere, and Ya-Yas in Bloom), Rebecca Wells has helped women name, claim, and celebrate their shared sisterhood for over a decade. Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood held the top of the New York Times bestseller list for sixty-eight weeks, became a knockout feature film, sold more than 5 million copies, and inspired the creation of Ya-Ya clubs worldwide.
Now Wells debuts an entirely new cast of characters in this shining stand-alone novel about the pull of first love, the power of life, and the human heart's vast capacity for healing.
The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder is the sweet, sexy, funny journey of Calla Lily's life set in Wells's expanding fictional Louisiana landscape. In the small river town of La Luna, Calla bursts into being, a force of nature as luminous as the flower she is named for. Under the loving light of the Moon Lady, the feminine force that will guide and protect her throughout her life, Calla enjoys a blissful childhood—until it is cut short. Her mother, M'Dear, a woman of rapture and love, teaches Calla compassion, and passes on to her the art of healing through the humble womanly art of "fixing hair." At her mother's side, Calla further learns that this same touch of hands on the human body can quiet her own soul. It is also on the banks of the La Luna River that Calla encounters sweet, succulent first love, with a boy named Tuck.
But when Tuck leaves Calla with a broken heart, she transforms hurt into inspiration and heads for the wild and colorful city of New Orleans to study at L'AcadÉmie de BeautÉ de Crescent. In that extravagant big river city, she finds her destiny—and comes to understand fully the power of her "healing hands" to change lives and soothe pain, including her own. When Tuck reappears years later, he presents her with an offer that is colored by the memories of lost love. But who knows how Calla Lily, a "daughter of the Moon Lady," will respond?
A tale of family and friendship, tragedy and triumph, loss and love, The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder features the warmth, humor, soul, and wonder that have made Wells one of today's most cherished writers, and gives us an unforgettable new heroine to treasure.
About the Author
Rebecca Wells is a novelist, actor, and playwright. She is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Ya-Yas in Bloom, Little Altars Everywhere (winner of the Western States Book Award), and Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood (winner of the American Booksellers Book of the Year Award, short-listed for the Orange Prize), which was made into a feature film. She performs from her work internationally, and her books have been translated into twenty-three languages. A native of Louisiana, she now makes her home on an island in Puget Sound, Washington, with her husband, their spaniel, and three sheep.
Product Details
Hardcover: 416 pages
Publisher: Harper (July 7, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0060175311
ISBN-13: 978-0060175313
This is one of those books with a predictable plot, but the pleasure is in the way it is written. It is a typical boy and girl meet, lose each other, then find one another again. The beauty of the words make the whole thing totally unpredictable though and should be read for just that reason.

7/13/09

Book #125 Hope in a Jar



5 out of 5

Product Description
Twenty years ago, Allie Denty was the pretty one and her best friend Olivia Pelham was the smart one. Throughout high school, they were inseparable…until a vicious rumor about Olivia— a rumor too close to the truth—ended their friendship.
Now, on the eve of their twentieth high school reunion, Allie, a temp worker, finds herself suddenly single, a little chubby, and feeling old. Olivia, a cool and successful magazine beauty editor in New York, realizes she’s lonely, and is finally ready to face her demons.
Sometimes hope lives in the future; sometimes it comes from the past; and sometimes, when every stupid thing goes wrong, it comes from a prettily packaged jar filled with scented cream and promises.


Beth Harbison has done it again. A hilarious and touching novel about friendship, Love’s Baby Soft perfume, Watermelon Lip Smackers, bad run-ins with Sun-In, and the healing power of “Gee Your Hair Smells Terrific.” Hope in a Jar: we all need it.

Product Details
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Press (July 7, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0312381964
ISBN-13: 978-0312381967

Pitch perfect Chick Lit. This had everything that makes it a perfect read for the summer with believable characters and plot. Well, OK, it could happen. I don't know if it ever did, but most romances don't have evil female lawyers in them. I can actually believe this might be true though.

Book #124 Other People's Husbands


3 out of 5
Product Description
Sue's mother told her that she shouldn't marry Conrad—that the 25-year age gap between them would tell in the end. The end is now, apparently, approaching fast. Conrad, a famous painter, has decided that it would be good to die before he gets seriously old and so spends his time sorting out his chaotic life. Sue, teaching art at a local college, finds that she has plenty of male company—other people's husbands, ones she tells Conrad all about, who are just good friends to her. But there's one she, somehow, doesn't get round to mentioning.
Product Details
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Transworld Publishers (August 5, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0593060563
ISBN-13: 978-0593060568
Did you ever really want to read a book, then only to be a little disappointed by it? I felt a little let down after reading this one. It was a decent "older" chick lit story, but for some reason it fell a little flat for me.

7/11/09

Book #123 Nose Down, Eyes Up: A Novel


5 out of 5
Product Description
At forty-seven, Gil has reached a relatively happy period in his life as the world’s oldest twenty-two-year-old man. In exchange for doing the odd carpentry and construction job, he gets paid to live rent-free in Los Angeles at the glorious summerhouse of rich retirees who are never there. It’s a world of solitary splendor spent mainly in the company of his four dogs, Cheney, Fruity, Dinky, and Jimmy, the alpha and the only one of the four that Gil has raised from a pup.Because Gil is the kind of guy who understands his dogs far better than he understands any of the people in his life–including his girlfriend, Sara, who is an “animal communicator” (albeit one that the dogs make fun of)–he is not particularly surprised when he stumbles upon Jimmy delivering lectures on canine manipulative techniques to the rest of the dogs in the neighborhood. (For example, the always effective “Nose down, eyes up” is a surefire path to permission to sleep on the bed.) Soon Gil begins to see dollar signs in the idea of turning Jimmy and his advice into a “brand” that he can merchandise on the Internet.Their collaboration has barely begun when Jimmy makes a shocking realization: He’s adopted. And not only is Gil not his real father, they’re not even the same species. In the identity crisis that ensues, Gil hears the last thing he wants his favorite dog to say: that Jimmy wants to be reunited with his birth mother, a bitch owned by the woman who emptied Gil’s bank account, his pension plan, and his plans for the future–Gil’s sexy and still seductive ex-wife, Eden, now remarried, wealthy, and living in Malibu.When the rich retirees who own Gil’s house return for an indefinite period, Gil must decide what to do: risk a new relationship disaster by trying to live in a tiny house with his good-hearted on-again, off-again girlfriend, Sara, or relive an old relationship disaster by getting reinvolved with his flirtatious ex-wife, with her new husband, Jimmy’s birth mother, and their Malibu guesthouse.In this hilarious new novel, Merrill Markoe offers uncanny insight into the bonds between hounds and humans, as well as their respective ideas of the way that love and family are supposed to work. Nose Down, Eyes Up is a revealing examination of the interspecies power of love, sex, family, and real estate and why everyone–on two legs or four–deserves to have his or her day.
About the Author
Emmy Award—winning writer Merrill Markoe has authored three books of humorous essays and the novels Walking in Circles Before Lying Down and It’s My F---ing Birthday and co-authored (with Andy Prieboy) the novel The Psycho Ex Game. An overly long biographical résumé can be found at www.merillmarkoe.com. She lives in Los Angeles with four dogs and a man.
Product Details
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Villard (December 30, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0345500202
ISBN-13: 978-0345500205
This is a must read for any dog lover. I have always thought that there is a grand conspiracy theory that dogs actually are planning a world take over and this just confirms it. I only hope that Markoe has another book like this for me to read soon.

7/8/09

Book #122 Undead and Unwelcome (Queen Betsy, Book 8)


4 out of 5


Product Description
New in the “one of a kind”(Darque Reviews) New York Times bestselling series featuring Vampire Queen Betsy Taylor! Betsy Taylor has problems that only a vampire queen/suburban wife could possibly understand. Such as taking the body of her werewolf friend Antonia—who died in her service—to Cape Cod, where she’s not sure if the Wyndham werewolves will welcome her with fangs or friendship. Meanwhile, her posse back in St. Paul is sending frantic e-mails alerting Betsy to her half-sister’s increasingly erratic behavior. Looks like the devil’s daughter is coming into her own—and raising hell.
About the Author
MaryJanice Davidson is a bestselling author who also writes a series featuring a teen were-dragon named Jennifer Scales, and novels featuring Fred the Mermaid (Fish Out of Water, Swimming without a Net, and Sleeping with the Fishes).
I know most people didn't like the new direction MJD is taking with the Queen Betsy series, but I really like this one. Told from both Betsy and Marc's point of view, the story was a nice departure from the typical plan. It was nice to hear a new voice in this series and I hope to hear more from the other characters. I need to go get out Derik's Bane and read that one to find out more about the Windham Werewolves.

Product Details
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Berkley Hardcover (June 2, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0425227731
ISBN-13: 978-0425227732

7/7/09

Book #121 Sucker for Love: A Dead-End Dating Novel (Dead-End Dating Novels)





4 out of 5




Product Description

Divalicious darling of the undead Lil Marchette is this close to finding her own happily-ever-after with hunky live-in bounty hunter Ty Bonner. Unfortunately, reality is biting back in a big way. Lil’s got mounting bills to pay and clients to keep happily hooked up courtesy of Dead End Dating, the ultimate meet-and-greet for New York’s fanged, furry, and fabulous. But leave it to a drop-dead gorgeous eight-hundred-year-old warlock with a big-girl fetish to take the biggest chomp out of Lil’s happiness by kidnapping Esther Crutch, one of Lil’s plus-size clients, now stamped as Grade-A Ritual Meat.Leaving Ty warming the bed, Lil races to rescue Esther’s curvy behind before she’s turned into a Mayan sacrifice. The trail leads to Texas–hell by any other name–and as if dust, demons, and hopelessly outdated fashion weren’t bad enough, fate gives Lil an unexpected partner: her mom, who is on a mission to meddle (as usual) and grab a little mother-daughter time. Will Lil remain calm in the face of smotherly love and save Esther–or will her client bite the dust?
Another cute read in this series.




About the Author

Kimberly Raye is the bestselling author of more than thirty novels, including Dead End Dating, Dead and Dateless, Your Coffin or Mine?, and Just One Bite. She’s been nominated for several Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Awards, as well as two RITA Awards. Her books have been featured in several major magazines, including Better Homes & Gardens and Glamour, and her novel Sometimes Naughty, Sometimes Nice was a Cosmopolitan magazine book club pick. She lives deep in the heart of Texas Hill Country with her husband and their young children.


Product Details
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Ballantine Books (June 23, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 034550366X
ISBN-13: 978-0345503664


7/6/09

Book #120 The Awakening (Darkest Powers, Book 2)



4 out of 5
Product Description
If you had met me a few weeks ago, you probably would have described me as an average teenage girl—someone normal. Now my life has changed forever and I'm as far away from normal as it gets. A living science experiment—not only can I see ghosts, but I was genetically altered by a sinister organization called the Edison Group. What does that mean? For starters, I'm a teenage necromancer whose powers are out of control; I raise the dead without even trying. Trust me, that is not a power you want to have. Ever.
Now I'm running for my life with three of my supernatural friends—a charming sorcerer, a cynical werewolf, and a disgruntled witch—and we have to find someone who can help us before the Edison Group finds us first. Or die trying.
About the Author
Kelley Armstrong is the New York Times bestselling author of the Women of the Otherworld series and the first book in the Darkest Powers series, The Summoning, about which Kirkus Reviews said in a starred review: "Terrifying ghosts, smatterings of gore, and diverse teen voices will prompt young adults to pick up the next in this series."
Kelley has been telling stories since before she could write. Her earliest written efforts were disastrous. If asked for a story about girls and dolls, hers would invariably feature undead girls and evil dolls, much to her teachers' dismay. All efforts to make her produce "normal" stories failed. Today, she continues to spin tales of ghosts and demons and werewolves, while safely locked away in her basement writing-dungeon.
This was just a wonderful read. You do need to read the first book in the series to get the full benefits of the story. Once I picked this up, I couldn't put it down and read straight through. I don't know how long I can wait for the next one though. I have all of Kelley Armstrong's books on my shelf and this YA series really makes me want to read them. I think this series is very appropriate for teens since it really touches on the growing pain of emotional issues. I wish I had authors like this when I was at that age.
Product Details
Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins (April 28, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0061662763
ISBN-13: 978-0061662768

7/5/09

Book #119 Passion Unleashed (The Demonica Series)








4 out of 5




Product Description


FORBIDDEN TEMPTATIONS


Serena Kelley is an archaeologist and treasure hunter-and a woman with a secret. Since she was seven, she's been the keeper of a powerful charm that grants her health and immortality . . . as long as she stays a virgin. But Serena isn't all that innocent. And when a dangerously handsome stranger brings her to the brink of ecstasy, she wonders if she's finally met the one man she cannot resist.


FATAL DESIRES


Wraith is a Seminus demon with a death wish. But when an old enemy poisons him, he must find Serena and persuade her to give him the only known antidote in the universe-her charm. Yet, as she begins to surrender to his seductions and Wraith senses the cure is within his grasp, he realizes a horrible truth: He's falling for the woman whose life he must take in order to save his own.


About the Author


Larissa Ione lives in Williamsburg, Virginia, with her husband and young son. She is currently hard at work on her next Demonica novel.





This turned out to be a really great series with the right balance of mystery, humor and sexual tension that all make sense. You really can believe in the characters and the fast paced action is just wonderful. This is a great summer read.



Product Details
Mass Market Paperback: 480 pages
Publisher: Forever (March 31, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0446401056
ISBN-13: 978-0446401050

7/4/09

Book #118 Thereby Hangs a Tail: A Chet and Bernie Mystery

Thereby Hangs a Tail: A Chet and Bernie Mystery by Spencer Quinn

5 out of 5

Synopsis
Following the acclaimed Dog On It, the second mystery in the Chet and Bernie series featuring an irresistible canine narrator.
Biography
Spencer Quinn zoomed to bestsellerdom with his wry, entertaining Chet and Bernie series, featuring one of the most delightful sleuthing duos in mystery history — an intrepid K-9 police academy dropout and his hapless private detective owner.

I wish I could find a picture to post of the cover as it is a great picture of Chet's silhouette. I loved this one as much as the first in the series. Chet and Bernie have another adventure while looking for a kidnapped championship dog and her owner. Of course, it alls goes wrong and Chet saves the day again. It is amazing how Quinn brings the dogs and their thoughts to life. I think Quinn's secret identity is really a dog.

Product Details
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Atria (January 5, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1416585850
ISBN-13: 978-1416585855

7/2/09

Book #117 The Summoning (Darkest Powers, Book 1)



3.5 out of 5
Product Description
My name is Chloe Saunders and my life will never be the same again.
All I wanted was to make friends, meet boys, and keep on being ordinary. I don't even know what that means anymore. It all started on the day that I saw my first ghost—and the ghost saw me.
Now there are ghosts everywhere and they won't leave me alone. To top it all off, I somehow got myself locked up in Lyle House, a "special home" for troubled teens. Yet the home isn't what it seems. Don't tell anyone, but I think there might be more to my housemates than meets the eye. The question is, whose side are they on? It's up to me to figure out the dangerous secrets behind Lyle House . . . before its skeletons come back to haunt me.
About the Author
Kelley Armstrong is the New York Times bestselling author of the Women of the Otherworld series and the first book in the Darkest Powers series, The Summoning, about which Kirkus Reviews said in a starred review: "Terrifying ghosts, smatterings of gore, and diverse teen voices will prompt young adults to pick up the next in this series."
Kelley has been telling stories since before she could write. Her earliest written efforts were disastrous. If asked for a story about girls and dolls, hers would invariably feature undead girls and evil dolls, much to her teachers' dismay. All efforts to make her produce "normal" stories failed. Today, she continues to spin tales of ghosts and demons and werewolves, while safely locked away in her basement writing-dungeon.
It took me two tries to finish this book. Once I did get past the initial set up for the series and a few pages of dialogue I thought went nowhere, it became a wonderful page turner. The characters are well developed and you could really get a feel for Chloe and her life. This is pretty appropriate for any teen with minimal violence, drug and sexual references. I am looking forward to the next one.
Product Details
Reading level: Young Adult
Paperback: 416 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins; Reprint edition (March 31, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0061450545
ISBN-13: 978-0061450549

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