Monthly Archives: July 2016

Quote-tastic: The Beast in Him by Shelly Laurenston

This quote is from one of my favorite Shelly Laurenston books.  And let me tell you, it is hard for me to say any of these books are my favorites.  I love them all.

The Beast in Him is the second of the Pride series and features Smitty and Jessie Ann.  Smitty is a wolf of the Tennessee wolf pack and if you have ever read any of this series, you know that means something . . . and it’s not good.  Jessie Ann is  the alpha of a wild dog pack.  Like domesticated dogs, they can be goofy and obsessive and absolutely adorable.  Jessie Ann is all of those.

The quote I selected is from Smitty.  He hears what he wants to hear and that is not what Jessie Ann tells him.

The beauty of wolf hearing.  You heard only what you wanted to, made up what was never said but should have been, and the rest meant little or nothing.

quote-tastic final with green bordersmitty

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Quote-tastic: A Book to Look Forward To

I have already reviewed A Perilous Undertaking by Deanna Raybourn, but it has some great lines.  Therefore, I am going to share one of them again.  I am not giving any context.  You will just have to wait for it.  And I do mean wait.  This book is not scheduled for release until January 2017 which should be considered cruel and unusual punishment for anyone who loves Ms. Raybourn’s books like I do.  Anyway, drum roll please, today’s quote (and yes, I know it’s Wednesday, not Monday) is

“Good heavens! I have never seen so many penises in one place,” — Veronica Speedwell

perilous undertaking
quote-tastic final with green border

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A Perilous Undertaking (Veronica Speedwell, #2) by Deanna Raybourn

A Perilous Undertaking (Veronica Speedwell, #2)A Perilous Undertaking by Deanna Raybourn
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Title: A Perilous Undertaking
Author: Deanna Raybourn
Series: Veronica Speedwell, #2
Pages: 352
Publisher: Berkley Books
Date: January 10, 2017

Summary:

“London, 1887.”

Victorian adventuress and butterfly hunter Veronica Speedwell receives an invitation to visit the Curiosity Club, a ladies-only establishment for daring and intrepid women. There she meets the mysterious Lady Sundridge, who begs her to take on an impossible task saving society art patron Miles Ramsforth from execution. Accused of the brutal murder of his artist mistress Artemisia, Ramsforth will face the hangman’s noose in a week’s time if Veronica cannot find the real killer.

But Lady Sundridge is not all that she seems, and unmasking her true identity is only the first of the many secrets Veronica must uncover. Together with her natural historian colleague Stoker, Veronica races against time to find the true murderer, a ruthless villain who not only took Artemisia’s life in cold blood but is happy to see Ramsforth hang for the crime. From a Bohemian artists colony to a royal palace to a subterranean grotto with a decadent history, the investigation proves to be a very perilous undertaking indeed….”

Review:

I loved the first book in this series, A Curious Beginning, and this one was just as entertaining. The mystery is good, and no, I had no idea who the “bad guy” was until the reveal. That’s unusual for me. I read so many books, I generally have a good idea who the culprit is before the end of the book. Not knowing makes this an exceptional book.

Regardless of the mystery though, it is the relationship between Veronica and Stoker that I really enjoy. They like each other, and maybe a little more, but they had much rather argue than carry on a civil conversation. Veronica likes to enrage Stoker because it pulls him out of the dumps. At least, that’s what she says. Actually, she just enjoys arguing.

In this book, we find out a little more about Veronica’s past, but we really learn some things about Stoker. It’s not enough. It only whets my appetite for more information. It’s not like there are cliffhangers or anything. I hate those. We are just given tidbits to entice us. And man, did that work. I cannot wait for the next book.

To keep you going until this book’s release, here are a few quotes to entertain.

Veronica in Chapter 1: Men, I had observed, were never happier than when they believed they were imparting wisdom.

Stoker in Chapter 12: Veronica, you have a substantial intellect. Perhaps you could trouble yourself to use it occasionally.

Veronica in the same chapter referring to Stoker: That was the true measure of his character; even at the height of his irritation he would never let me fall.

Also, in the same chapter (and why would Stoker ever be irritated with Veronica), Stoker is trying to get Veronica to promise to run to safety if things go bad. :

“For once, do as I ask. Promise me.”

“Very well. I promise,” I said, crossing my fingers behind my back.

Again, in Chapter 12. I had not realized what a great chapter that was. I am not going to give you any context for this quote. I’m just throwing it out. : “Good heavens! I have never seen so many penises in one place,”

Veronica in Chapter 16: It has been my experience in dealing with the male of the species that the easiest way to get one to do as you wish is to encourage him to do precisely the opposite.

You know, I am fairly certain my mother taught me this exact same thing.

And I’ll leave you with an exchange between Veronica and Stoker:

“… That is a stroke of brilliance.”

He preened. “It is, isn’t it? I think I shall bask in this for a little while. I do like being right.”

And don’t we all. I hate that the book is not being released until January of 2017. I have no idea why it has been delayed for so long. It is well worth the wait though and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

This book was sent to me by NetGalley in return for an honest review.

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Quote-tastic: A Curious Beginning by Deanna Raybourn

quote-tastic final with green borderI am re-reading A Curious Beginning, the first of the Veronica Speedwell series, to get ready for book two.  A Perilous Undertaking is not due out until January of 2017, but I scored an early reviewers copy, so it is the next thing on my TBR list.

When I first read A Curious Beginning, I gave it five stars.  I seldom do that, so I must have really enjoyed it.  After re-reading about half of it, I know it deserved five stars or better.  I love this book.

In Melissa’s review on GoodReads of the second book, she compares Veronica and Stoker to Peabody and Emerson.  I did not pick up on that, but she is right.  The personalities and relationship does feel the same, which is a good thing.

Anyway, on to the quotes:

Veronica:  “I have faith that men can be as reasonable and logical as women if they but try.”

Veronica again: “I gave it to him because, in my experience, it is far better to tell a man what he wants to hear and then do as you please than attempt to reason with him.”

And finally, Stoker:  “Pay attention when I am lecturing you.  You can woolgather later.”

I mean, what’s not to love?

A Curious Beginning

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Curious Minds (Knight & Moon, #1) by Janet Evanovich and Phoef Sutton

Curious Minds (Knight and Moon, #1)Curious Minds by Janet Evanovich
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Title: Curious Minds
Author: Janet Evanovich & Phoef Sutton
Series: Knight & Moon, #1
Pages: 336
Publisher: Bantam Dell
Date: August 16, 2016

Summary:

Emerson Knight is introverted, eccentric, and has little to no sense of social etiquette. Good thing he’s also brilliant, rich, and (some people might say) handsome, or he’d probably be homeless. Riley Moon has just graduated from Harvard Business and Harvard Law. Her aggressive Texas spitfire attitude has helped her land her dream job as a junior analyst with mega-bank Blane-Grunwald. At least Riley Moon thought it was her dream job, until she is given her first assignment: babysitting Emerson Knight.

What starts off as an inquiry about missing bank funds in the Knight account leads to inquiries about a missing man, missing gold, and a life-and-death race across the country. Through the streets of Washington, D.C., and down into the underground vault of the Federal Reserve in New York City, an evil plan is exposed. A plan so sinister that only a megalomaniac could think it up, and only the unlikely duo of the irrepressibly charming Emerson Knight and the tenacious Riley Moon can stop it.

Review:

I loved this book – absolutely loved this book. Five stars is not enough. I cannot wait for the next one and there’s not even a title yet on Goodreads. I want it NOW!

Okay, I have that out of my system.

This is the first book in Janet Evanovich’s new series and it is cowritten with Phoef Sutton. It’s really funny just like the Stephanie Plum books, but for some reason doesn’t read like a Plum book. The zaniness and humor are there, but it just doesn’t seem the same. I can’t really explain it.

The book is written from Riley’s point of view, but Emerson is my favorite character. He is so brilliant and so rich that he doesn’t follow normal societal rules and that’s what makes him my favorite. When he is told he can’t do something, his response is not “why not?”, but “I’m already doing it.”

I don’t normally use a lot of quotes in my reviews, but I’m making an exception for this one. None of them are spoilers and you have to see why I think this book is so great.

“You don’t seem especially worried,” Emerson said. “I drink a lot,” Irene said. “And I smoke dope. It keeps me more or less happy.”

That will do it.

In this next quote, Riley wants her breakfast and has told him she gets irritable if she isn’t fed.

“I like you fine.” “I’m not irritable yet.” “You’re not?” Emerson said with surprise. “Very funny.” “I wasn’t trying to be funny,” . . .

Emerson can definitely try anyone’s patience.

Riley reminded herself that she was a professional, and stabbing Emerson with her nail file wouldn’t be appropriate.

And just throwing this one out there,

“Attempted murder is something a lot of couples can’t get past.”

Emerson is not inexperienced with women.

“You have that look,” Emerson said to Riley.
“What look?”
“Squinty eyes, jaw clenched, shoulders hunched. I’ve seen that look on women before and it’s never turned out well.”

And this is a workout program I could get behind.

Irene Grunwald got up early every morning to work out. And by “work out” she meant have a pitcher of sangria while lying in a lounge chair in her backyard and watching the sun rise over the river.

Read this book. You will not regret it.

This book was sent to me by NetGalley in return for an honest review.

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Shadows of the Stone Benders (Anlon Cully Chronicles, #1) by K. Patrick Donoghue

Shadows of the Stone Benders (The Anlon Cully Chronicles, #1)Shadows of the Stone Benders by K. Patrick Donoghue
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Title: Shadows of the Stone Benders
Author: K. Patrick Donoghue
Series: Anlon Cully Chronicles, #1
Pages: 316
Publisher: Leaping Leopard Enterprises
Date: May 14, 2016

Summary:

World-renowned scientist Anlon Cully is unexpectedly swept into the thick of a suspense-riddled adventure when his archaeologist uncle, Devlin Wilson, dies under suspicious circumstances.

Prior to his “accidental” fall off a New Hampshire mountain trail, Devlin made the discovery of a lifetime – unearthing undeniable proof that a technologically advanced society thrived on Earth long before archaeologists thought possible!

The key to this shocking evidence lies in a set of mysterious stones forged by a long forgotten race of ancient mariners. Instilled with formidable powers to build, communicate, fight and heal, the stones draw the ruthless attention of villainous thieves hell bent on their acquisition by any means possible…including murder.

Aided by friend Pebbles McCarver and police detective Jennifer Stevens, Anlon follows traces of bewildering clues left by his uncle in a dangerous chase to unravel the stones’ secrets before the killer strikes again and escapes with the priceless artifacts.

Peppered with the thought provoking intrigue of a Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child thriller, Shadows of the Stone Benders leaves readers questioning the technological prowess of modern man and the belief that Neolithic humans were nothing more than unsophisticated cave dwellers.

Review:

This is a hard one to review. I really liked the plot. It was out there, but this is a science fiction novel, so out there is good. There is a romance, but it is definitely a subplot – important, but not critical to the story line.

This is the first book in the series, so I was concerned there might be a cliffhanger ending. I hate cliffhangers, but no, the author does an excellent job of bringing everything together while leaving room for the next book.

So, why did I give it only two stars.

It was the over-the-top dialogue. The personalities of the characters were established and then the author would have them react in this dramatic fashion. Not just once, but throughout the book.

For example, one of the characters, Eleanor/Pebbles, has just figured out something about the black stone. Now, she and Jennifer, a police detective, have just met. Jennifer’s response is “Way to go Eleanor!” shouted Jennifer. She shouted, not stated, not exclaimed, but shouted. It just didn’t fit the personality that had already been established for Jennifer.

Later on, Jennifer has been interviewing a bank president. He is Asian and she is knowledgeable enough to know how to address him properly and respect his culture. However, at the end of the interview, when he has given her some much needed information, she says, “Min-Jun, you da man!”

This is to an older Asian gentleman!

And it goes on. It’s not just Jennifer’s part either. The same thing happens with Pebbles and to a certain extent with Anlon – the male lead.

I couldn’t get past it.

The plot is good. Without the dialogue issues, I would have probably given this book a 3.5 at least. I do know this is a debut novel, so surely the author will get better. I just don’t know that I’m willing to give him another chance.

This book was sent to me by NetGalley in return for an honest review.

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Quote-tastic: The Curse of Tenth Grave by Darynda Jones

I told you last week would not be the only time I participated in the Quote-tastic challenge.  The new Charley Davidson book came out on Tuesday and there was no doubt in my mind there would be quotable lines.  Her chapter openings can be the best part of the books.  The one I chose for today is

“I think senility is going to be a fairly smooth transition for me.  — TRUE FACT”

I can remember telling my mother years ago that she didn’t have to worry about getting Alzheimer’s.  We would never notice the difference.  She didn’t appreciate it, but my dad almost fell out of his chair laughing.

24154660 quote-tastic final with green border

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Illusion Town (Ghosthunters, #13) by Jayne Castle

Illusion Town (Ghost Hunters, #13)Illusion Town by Jayne Castle
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Title: Illusion Town
Author: Jayne Castle
Series: Ghosthunters, #13
Pages: 352
Publisher: Jove
Date: July 26, 2016

Summary:

With its opulent casinos and hotels, the desert city of Illusion Town is totally unique—and will take you on a thrill ride you’ll never forget.

Hannah West isn’t the first woman to wake up in Illusion Town married to a man she barely knows, but she has no memory of the ceremony at all. For that matter, neither does Elias Coppersmith, her new husband. All either can remember is that they were on the run…

With Hannah’s dubious background and shaky para-psych profile, she could have done much worse. The coolly competent mining heir arouses her curiosity—as well as other parts of her mind and body. And even her dust bunny likes him.

But a honeymoon spent retracing their footsteps leads Hannah and Elias into the twisting underground catacombs, where secrets from both their pasts will come to light—and where the energy of their clashing auras will grow hot enough to burn…

Review:

I know it’s a cliche, but Jayne Ann Krentz aka Jayne Castle has done it again. She has written a fun, romantic mystery with clues that will lead you right down a dust bunny hole. Do dust bunnies even live in holes?

Hannah is a dream walker with a twist. She has a doppelganger who always has the answers. It’s just Hannah doesn’t always have the right questions.

But she’s not crazy or fragile regardless of what the parashrink said.

Elias is a Coppersmith. Yes, of those Coppersmiths. We met his family in the previous book, Siren’s Call, and he is just as strong in his talent as is expected.

And he doesn’t think Hannah is crazy or fragile either.

I love Jayne Ann Krentz/Jayne Castle/Amanda Quick books regardless of what name she is writing under, but I ADORE her dust bunny books. They are all good, but I have to admit I didn’t like the last few books set on Rainshadow Island as much as I have the others. I am so glad she has moved her setting to Illusion Town (where the thrills are real). They just seem more like her earlier writings.

In other words, this book is even better than the last one.

Read them. Read all of them. You don’t have to read them in order, but why not? You will love them all.

This book was sent to me by NetGalley in return for an honest review.

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Once Upon a Moonlit Night (Maiden Lane, #10.5) by Elizabeth Hoyt

Once Upon a Moonlit Night (Maiden Lane, #10.5)Once Upon a Moonlit Night by Elizabeth Hoyt
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Title: Once Upon a Moonlit Night
Author: Elizabeth Hoyt
Series: Maiden Lane, #10.5
Pages:
Publisher: Forever Yours
Date: July 5, 2016

Summary:

Hippolyta Royle is running for her life. Pursued by hounds on a cold rainy night, the heiress flags down a passing carriage and throws herself at the mercy of the coach’s occupant. Whoever this handsome traveler may be, he is her only hope to escape a terrible fate. But should he agree to escort her to safety, he’s in for much more than he bargained for.

At first Matthew Mortimer doesn’t believe Hippolyta’s story, that she’s a fabulously wealthy heiress who’s been kidnapped. He assumes she’s a beggar, an actress, or worse. But once his new travel companion washes the mud from her surprisingly lovely face, and they share a breathtaking kiss, there is no turning back.

Review:

I have been reading the Maiden Lane series since the first book, Wicked Intentions, was released in 2010. They are very, very good, but can be dark and intense . . . not to mention heartbreaking.

This is not one of those books. Yes, it is a Maiden Lane. (Be sure and read Duke of Sin before this one. Otherwise, you’ll have no clue.) Yes, it is very, very good. Where it differs is that it is fun! And funny.

The main characters are Hippolyta Royle and Matthew Mortimer. Don’t you love those names? And those are not the best ones. My favorite character is Tommy Teapot. I’m not going to say anything about him because of spoilers, but he is the best.

Hippolyta has escaped from a kidnapper (that’s why you have to read the previous book) and Matthew finds her soaked and muddy on the side of the road. She TELLS him she is really a lady and a heiress, but he doesn’t believe her. And that frees her. She is not as constrained as she has always had to in her reactions and she loves it.

Matthew learns quite early on that she has a temper. It’s his fault. He says something unforgivable to her. After all, she is only a beggar, or a thief, or possibly a prostitute and he really, really wants to kiss her, but decides he better not, because

“And besides, he rather thought at the moment she might bite his tongue off if he stuck it in her mouth.”

Of course, eventually he does get his kiss and it looks like they are going to get their happily ever after. But Hippolyta does have a secret. Something that could ruin her and Matthew.

And she is being blackmailed.

This is a great addition to the series. It fits in with the other Maiden Lane books and I think introduces a character that we will see more of in a later book. At least, I hope so. I can’t tell you who it is because of spoilers (again), but I really liked him.

Duke of Pleasure is next and I already have it on preorder. The release date is November 29, 2016 and I cannot wait.

This book was sent to me by NetGalley in return for an honest review.

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