Tuesday, September 1, 2015

SEVEN SISTERS by Lucinda Riley

Publisher:    Atria   
Published:   May 5, 2015
ISBN:       978-1476759906
Genre:    Contemporary, Women’s Fiction, Historical Fiction
Format:   Print   
Obtained via:  Library   
Reviewed by name and email address:  Gina  Ginalrmreviews@gmail.com



Some twenty-five to thirty years ago a man adopted six daughters and named them for the seven sisters of the Pleiades.  They called him Pa Salt and as children, living on his estate called Atlantis situated on Lake Geneva, they wanted for nothing.  When asked about the seventh sister they were told he never found her.  Each sister, you see, was adopted from a different place—a different country.  Growing up secure in his love for them the sisters never questioned their beginnings.  And then one day Maia, the eldest receives a troubling phone call from Pa Salt’s long time housekeeper, the woman who was always there for the girls—Pa has died. When Maia arrives at Atlantis she learns for the first time that her father is not only dead, but already buried, in a lead coffin at sea.  As the sisters gather the story of his demise is shared and each reacts according to their own, unique, personality.  But their father did not die and leave them to simply cope with his passing—he left them one last gift.  Each received a key to their past. What, when and if they will take the gift is left to each sister.  It is Maia who, rather than deal with someone from her past, who is the first to pursue her more distant past.  But it is not merely here past she finds herself making peace with—it is the past of someone more like her than she could ever have imagined.

I don’t often find myself reviewing books borrowed from the library.  With an intense day job and striving to write objective and impartial reviews from books sent from various publishers reading a library book, is for me, like taking a mini vacation.  When I saw the blurb for the Seven Sisters I was intrigued, intrigued enough to read Lucinda Riley’s first book, THE ORCHID HOUSE.  I became an instant fan and eagerly awaited the arrival of the SEVEN SISTERS.  I could hardly put the book down, staying up later than I should at night reading “just one more chapter”, finding hidden corners at work to read during my lunch, not participating in carpool conversations because I simply had to follow not only Maia’s journey, but that of her great grandmother, Bel.  Now I find myself waiting, not at all patiently, for Ally’s story in the second book, at this time called simply THE SECOND SISTER.

Riley takes her readers from the safe and secluded Atlantis to the steamy and colourful streets of Rio, not only in the present day but in the early days of the 20th century.  We are beside Maia as she learns of Bel’s struggle to be a good daughter and at the same time seeking out the man she will always love.  Torn apart by distance and culture Bel and Laurent tell their story through their letters, letters left to be found by Maia.  Through them she finds who she truly is—not only about her birth parents, but her much more intriguing and poignant history. 
This talented author takes her readers not just to the various locales of her books, but through her words you feel the heat of the summer streets, the cool breeze while crossing the lake to Atlantis, the bite of the special Rio brew and the heartbreak of saying goodbye to the one you love.

I could go on and on about this fabulous story but it would be only more of what I have already said.  Riley is an amazing, talented author.  I’ll be reading her entire backlist while I wait, not at all patiently, for the next book in this series.  This is one book you do not want to miss.

This is an objective review and an endorsement of this book.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Earth Bound by Christine Feehan

Publisher: Penguin
Date published: July 2015
ISBN: 9780515155570
Paranormal Romance

Reviewed by Gabrielle (meingee@yahoo.com)

Obtained via publisher

Rating: 4 Hearts

This book is another great addition to the Sea Haven series. This new book gives us a look at a Prakenskii brother and the woman  he finds. Gavriil is a marked man. When he finds out that he is no longer an asset to the government and has become  a liability he goes home to his brothers. This brings him to Lexi just when she needs a helping hand. Lexi is in hiding from a cult and the man who abducted her as a child but now it seems that they have found her. Gavriiil comes to her rescue but can she rescue him? Will their love be enough to win over both of their pasts or will evil win in the end?

I loved both Lexi and Gavriil. They both endeared themselves to this reader and I soon became lost in their story. It was nice to see Gavriil open up his heart and show a softer side when it came to Lexi. Seeing their connection and attraction grow into something more made for a good read. Their story is mixture of action and romance. Trust and love are hard to come by and harder to keep. Lexi and Gavriil fight hard to keep what they find. The two are good together, each one giving the other just what they need.

I enjoyed watching Gavriil and Lexi work together to stop the threat against her, all the while finding their own emotions to work through. Both have been through so much in their lives and survived. If anyone deserves a happy ever after these two do.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

UNDONE by Shannon Richard

Publisher:    Forever
Published:   July 2, 2013
ISBN:       978-1455547234
Genre:    Contemporary Romance
Format:   Ebook   
Obtained via:  Publisher
Reviewed by name and email address:  Gina  Ginalrmreviews@gmail.com



Paige Morrison arrives in Mirabelle, Florida feeling less than good about herself and her life in general.  She lost her job, her apartment and her boyfriend all in one fell swoop.  Now living with her parents life looks bleaker than ever, especially when her car dies out the road after yet another disappointing interview.  With her cell phone out of juice, wearing a rather high pair of high heels, she makes her way to the local garage where she meets Brendan King.

Brendan is everything Paige so does not want – a local boy, kind of a hick and a mechanic to boot.

On the surface he may not be what she wants but he may well be what she needs.

Brendan’s your basic local guy—a local guy who knows just what he wants.  With Brendan what you see is what you get.  When he meets Paige it’s not the stories going on about her in town that he tunes into, but the woman herself.  In no short order Brendan sets his sights on the city girl struggling to make it in a small town.  He helps her find a job and in a round about way helps her find some pretty terrific new friends. 

But is Paige ready to trust a new guy in a new town?

I liked Brendan from the moment he appeared on the pages of Shannon Richard’s UNDONE.  He’s the kind of guy any girl would like to have in her life if she’s paying attention to what is important.  Yes, he is gorgeous—your basic romance hunk, but there is so much more depth to the character.  He’s a good guy with a good heart.

The town of Mirabelle is definitely small town and quirky in its own way.  There were aspects of the town that would definitely lend itself to a fun cozy mystery—including Paige’s ultimate place of employment.

UNDONE started with some great lines and humor.  I found myself chuckling at odd moments because Richard had some really funny lines in there.  The story ran flat after awhile though—there was way too much telling and not enough showing.  Almost every chapter started with a “Paige did this, Paige did that” narrative that was flat in the telling.  I quickly began to feel nothing toward the characters.  Maybe a few less words and more action would have kept the story rolling along after what was a really good beginning.

I felt the end of Trevor’s story line was gratuitous in the way it played out.  It didn’t really add to the story unless it was the only way the author could find for Brendan and Paige to reach and work through their dark moment.

Richard does have a fun voice when it comes through.  I just wish there was more of it shown in the dialogue between the characters rather than a blow by blow narrative.

This is an objective review and an endorsement of this book.


Tuesday, August 25, 2015

FALLING HARD (Bad Boys Undercover #2) by Helenkay Dimon


Publisher:  Avon Books
Date published:  May 26, 2015
ISBN:  978-0-06-233007-9
Romance/Romantic Suspense
Reviewed by Lynne
Obtained via publisher
Rating:  5

Bad boy, Weston Brown, a former Marine, on assignment with the black ops force known as the Alliance, is back where he doesn’t want to be.  In Pakistan.  But he goes back out on assignment, pulled into his deadliest operation yet.

Lexi Palmer has been working with her father in a medical clinic in Skardu, Pakistan, where they focus mainly on helping those with mountain climbing injuries.  Brown’s job is to bring Lexi’s father safely home, after Alliance has been informed about illegal arms movements in Pakistan.  Unfortunately, the doctor is nowhere to be found when Brown arrives.  It is then he must rescue Lexi and get her safely away.  But the problem is, who does he trust, since Lexi is friends with questionable men from Pakistan?

Lexi has been asking too many questions and has drawn the wrong kind of attention.  When Brown arrives, she is drawn to his quiet, yet tough guy manner, completely opposite her usual type of men.  The attraction is mutual, but West knows he has a mission to complete and fights his feelings.  His killing machine reputation has kicked in, so he has only one thing on his mind.  Keep Lexi safe by his side and from a killer who leaves no loose ends behind. 

FALLING HARD (Bad Boys Undercover #2) by Helenkay Dimon is an exciting, riveting, fast-paced novel full of suspense, primal passion, and intrigue of the deadliest kind.  It is a stand-alone book that will keep the reader on her toes as each page leads the reader along brutal terrain and through various bad guys and battles.

Bad boy, Weston Brown, is the sort of hero that any woman would want protecting her.  He is handsome, rugged, well-built, and good at what he does.  It is no wonder Lexi is so attracted to him. 

Lexi is a strong heroine who knows her own mind, has her own set of skills, and knows exactly what she wants.  Plus, she doesn’t take garbage from any man, which West seems to admire about her.

The intimacy between West and Lexi is tastefully executed, and it is clear how strong the feelings are between the two, even amidst the danger they are in.
I also like the other members of the Alliance team, who care about West and Lexi enough to involve themselves in their business.  When West shows his vulnerable side, it is then one senses the honesty of his true feelings for Lexi, even if he doesn’t come right out and say it.

The real bad guys in Dimon’s FALLING HARD (Bad Boys Undercover #2) create enough friction and conflict in this story to keep one rooting for West and Lexi.  It is interesting how Dimon keeps one guessing as to just how much torture West can take or just how well he can act when around all the bad guys.

Dimon is a strong, talented writer who does well in blending passion, suspense, and excitement into FALLING HARD (Bad Boys Undercover #2).  The plot and fast-paced twists and turns of this story add to the tension, both sexual and otherwise, in this enjoyable read.  If one is looking for a different sort of summer read, then I would recommend FALLING HARD (Bad Boys Undercover #2) by Helenkay Dimon.  It is well written and a whole lot of fun.