Calculated in Death by J.D. Robb
Publication Date: February 26, 2013
Publisher: Putnam Adult
Synopsis:(Goodreads) On Manhattan’s Upper East Side a woman lies dead at the bottom of the stairs, stripped of all her valuables. Most cops might call it a mugging gone wrong, but Lieutenant Eve Dallas knows better.
A well-off accountant and a beloved wife and mother, Marta Dickenson doesn’t seem the type to be on anyone’s hit list. But when Eve and her partner, Peabody, find blood inside the building, the lieutenant knows Marta’s murder was the work of a killer who’s trained, but not professional or smart enough to remove all the evidence.
But when someone steals the files out of Marta’s office, Eve must immerse herself in her billionaire husband Roarke’s world of big business to figure out who’s cruel and callous enough to hire a hit on an innocent woman. And as the killer’s violent streak begins to escalate, Eve knows she has to draw him out, even if it means using herself as bait.
Personal Thoughts: This one was an action filled book as a lot of the J.D. Robb books usually are and I was happy to see that trend continue. The writing was concise and fast paced. It continues to surprise me how many ways there are to kill a person. It seems that some people don’t go for the easy kills.
The team work to get the case solved was written very well and the characters were developed. It is always interesting to see, how with each book, the characters get a bit more developed and back story to them. It makes them refreshing and they don’t get boring 🙂
It was nice to see Eve squirm in Tina’s presence for her preparation for the screening. I love that no matter what situation Eve is in, she is still Eve and she doesn’t get spoiled with it. Her character remains hers: unique 🙂
There wasn’t too much in terms of what was happening with Eve and Roarke and that was a bit disappointing. However, there was enough to keep me satisfied until the next book comes out. If it is one thing I have learned, it is that with some books, there is just enough until the next book. While in others, once I read it once, it is so good that I have to re-read it again 🙂
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Dream Eyes by Jayne Ann Krentz
Publication Date: January 8, 2013
Publisher: Putnam Adult
Synopsis (Goodreads): The death of her friend and mentor, Evelyn Ballinger, brings psychic counselor Gwen Frazier back to the small town of Wilby, Oregon, and brings back memories she would rather forget. Two years earlier, a killer stalked the members of one of Ballinger’s research studies including Gwen. And though she survived while two others didn’t, Gwen knows that Ballinger’s death is related.
Sent by a friend to help Gwen, psychic investigator Judson Coppersmith arrives in Wilby barely in control of his own talent and his own life, haunted by urgent dreams. His attraction to Gwen is primal, but there are secrets he must keep to protect himself from surrendering to her completely, even as their investigation draws them into dreamscapes, into decades of deception, and into the paranormal fires of a desire too strong to resist. . .
Personal Thoughts: One thing I’ve noticed with Jayne Ann Krentz lately is that she does a lot of cross over between her pseudonyms Jayne Castle and Amanda Quick. She goes from the 18th century under one name to the 21st century under another name with the continuation of the same story. It is interesting to see how the story develops over several books. I’ve never seen an author do this before.
I had a great time reading this book and seeing Judson try to fight his attraction to Gwen. There are a lot of trust issues in this book and it was good seeing how the author made them be resolved in the proper manner. It didn’t happen to early or too late in story. It was fascinating to hear about the mirror machine and how it worked. I loved the connection at the end of the book, which I won’t say here just to not spoil it.
There was a lot of action and adventure throughout the book which kept me on my toes until the end. I was expecting one bad guy but it ended being someone else entirely and I loved the plot twist. 🙂 Great work Jayne.
I heard that she is already working on another book and I can’t wait. I know that it will be a while before there is a title/summary and even longer before it comes out. However I am just happy to know there is more adventure on the way.
Rating: 4/5 Stars
The Education of Hailey Kendrick by Eileen Cook
Publication Date: January 4, 2011
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Synopsis (Goodreads): Hailey Kendrick always does exactly what’s expected of her. She has the right friends, dates the perfect boy, gets good grades, and follows all the rules. But one night, Hailey risks everything by breaking a very big rule in a very public way…and with a very unexpected partner in crime. Hailey gets caught, but her accomplice does not, and Hailey takes the fall for both of them.
Suddenly, Hailey’s perfect life–and her reputation–are blowing up in her face. Her friends are all avoiding her. Her teachers don’t trust her. Her boyfriend won’t even speak to her for long enough to tell her that she’s been dumped.
They say honesty is the best policy–but some secrets are worth keeping, no matter the cost. Or are they?
Personal Thoughts: I loved this book! Hailey is a very well developed character that would be Miss Goody Two Shoes, rather than enjoy her life. She’s a teachers dream: participates in class, does all her homework and extra credit assignments, and is just .. well .. perfect. She doesn’t break any rules and goes by the book. She has amazing friends, a perfect boyfriend and goes to a well to do boarding school. So why does she feel out of place?
All that changes in a life changing moment one night and the consequences are not what she is expecting. Through a lot of trial and error events, Hailey learns more about herself and those around her than she had known in the past. I loved how her character and attitude developed over time and by the end of the book you could tell that she had grown up a bit. 🙂
There are a lot of funny parts in the book, which I can’t mention because I don’t want to spoil it, but the crazy stuff that happens just made me love the book even more.
A lot of the secondary characters didn’t actually feel very secondary. The main group felt developed and in the loop so we got to know them pretty well. Kelsey, Drew, Joel and Tristan were a great bunch, although Kelsey did some things that aren’t really best friend material. Overall, great entertaining book. Eileen Cook has done it once again. Keep up the great work!
Unraveling Isobel by Eileen Cook
Publication Date: January 3, 2012
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Synopsis: (Goodreads): Isobel’s life is falling apart. Her mom just married some guy she met on the internet only three months before, and is moving them to his sprawling, Gothic mansion off the coast of nowhere. Goodbye, best friend. Goodbye, social life. Hello, icky new stepfather, crunchy granola town, and unbelievably good-looking, officially off-limits stepbrother.
But on her first night in her new home, Isobel starts to fear that it isn’t only her life that’s unraveling—her sanity might be giving way too. Because either Isobel is losing her mind, just like her artist father did before her, or she’s seeing ghosts. Either way, Isobel’s fast on her way to being the talk of the town for all the wrong reasons.
Personal Thoughts: When I first read the summary and saw that there would be ghosts involved I was hooked. You know me, I like my ghosts and anything to do with the paranormal. 🙂 Although the book has ghosts, it wasn’t actually scary, just intriguing to see what they would do and what would happen next.
The relationship that Isobel has with her mother isn’t exactly a love relationship and we can tell right off the bat. I mean what kind of mother would marry someone within meeting them of 3 months and force her daughter to move to a new school in her senior year? Isobel shows her displeasure in having to move, especially since her house guests (aka her step-dad and her hot step-brother) aren’t exactly welcoming.
It was interesting to see her struggle with her sanity and seeing whether she was turning insane (it runs in the family). If it was one character I couldn’t stand, it was Dick.(the step father) Right from the start I could tell that there was just something off about him and he seemed to be really creepy.
One thing that I would have liked to see more of is the mystery surrounding the estate. It felt like it was too short and done over quickly. Otherwise this book was a great quick entertaining read. I finished it in one day, mainly because I wanted to find out what was going on surrounding the mystery of the house. Eileen Cook is starting to grow on me as an author. All the books that I have read so far have been awesome 🙂 Keep up the great work Eileen Cook!
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Kiss of Fury by Deborah Cooke
Published: August 5, 2008
Summary (Goodreads) : Alexandra Madison has discovered an invention that could change the world. When her partner is murdered and their lab destroyed, Alex knows she has to rebuild her prototype in time…
Donovan Shea knows the Madison project is of dire importance to the ongoing Pyr/Slayer war. So when he sees Alex being followed by a Slayer, he reacts and defends her, never imagining that she’s his destined mate…
As Slayers close in on their prey, Donovan knows he’ll surrender his life to protect Alex—and lose his heart to possess her…
Personal Thoughts: This book was action filled from the first page right to the last page. Although the characters did not start to grow on me until half way through the book. It felt very choppy in the beginning and I couldn’t really grasp the characters. It seemed as though the author wanted to input as many details as possible into the first part of the book before we finally got into the story. That being said, the character development was lacking in some of the characters. You could tell that Alex, Donovan, Sara and Quinn were really well-developed and likable. The other characters were more or less fillers to have in the book.
I loved the interaction between Alex and Donovan and how they struggled against the firestorm. Their attempts to cheat out the firestorm were amusing and highly entertaining. The power of wills was definitely at play between these two characters and it was just a waiting game to see who would give up first and who would accept the inevitable.
I wish the author took more time for the secondary characters and gave them somewhat of the back story and a purpose aside from saving the Pyr and the world. The plot itself was interesting and fast paced. There wasn’t any particular time where it was going slow and where we would lose interest. Although I enjoyed reading it, it has a lot of things lacking and it is shallow in some parts.
Rating: 3/5 Stars
What Would Emma Do? by Eileen Cook
Publication Date: December 30, 2008
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Synopsis (Goodreads): Thou Shalt Not Kiss Thy Best Friend’s Boyfriend…again…
There is no greater sin than kissing your best friend’s boyfriend. So when Emma breaks that golden rule, she knows she’s messed up big-time…especially since she lives in the smallest town ever, where everyone knows everything about everyone else…and especially since she maybe kinda wants to do it again. Now her best friend isn’t speaking to her, her best guy friend is making things totally weird, and Emma is running full speed toward certain social disaster. This is so not the way senior year was supposed to go.
Time to pray for a minor miracle. Or maybe, just maybe, it’s time for Emma to stop trying to please everyone around her, and figure out what she wants for herself.
Personal Thoughts: I loved this book! It was one of those books where a character would grab at you and not let go. My favorite would have to be Emma. The things that she goes through and the way that she handles things, especially towards the end, shows that things are not always what they are meant to be. She knows what she wants and she knows what she needs to do in order to get it. The determination and dedication that we see from her for her love of track really reflects what kind of person she is.
To be honest, the whole ‘drama’ thing that was going on throughout the book didn’t really do anything for me. It just felt silly and not that believable. I’m not saying it couldn’t happen in real life, but there were just too many loop holes.
Emma, Colin and Todd were characters that were truly developed throughout the book and I felt that I could relate to them. All the other characters, I felt, were on a need to know basis and we just knew simple surface things about them. Eileen Cook did a great job with the pacing of the story and it never felt like the plot was dragging or being too slow. Right from the beginning something already happened and the our ride began.
Rating: 3.5/5 Stars