Wednesday, March 16, 2011

We View Reviews Wednesday

Starting today, I invite you to join my peers in celebrating the reviews they've received on their work.  In addition to reading glowing words, I'm pretty sure you might find something among these books that stirs your interest, or you may even discover a new review site you didn't know about.  Join me every week as I share the reviews sent by my friends.  I'm "Dishin' It Out."

LILA MUNRO
I own up to really liking these kinds of stories because they are real and their very messiness makes them real.  As a helping professional I encounter messy lives constantly and this smacks of that kind of authentic living which makes loving so painful sometimes even as the flip side can be so beautiful and fulfilling.  Ms Munro has written some wonderful stories in the past but I think this is one that has grabbed me more completely than others she has penned.  Cait is strong and courageous to own up to the good that has come out of her years in Boston--her skills as a marketing executive are quite extensive--but she also is willing to face the chaos she left in her wake eight years earlier, not only in her personal relationship with Bryce but in her own family.  She knows she has to find a way back to her mom and dad as well.  Bryce is a man that has grown and matured and the very fact that he has waited for Cait, never knowing whether she will ever return, speaks of the depth of his true affection and his willingness to make a commitment to her that is lasting and enduring.  That he is called upon to put that commitment to the supreme test is a tough and mind boggling decision.  Just one more aspect to this story that is not easy but which adds to the compelling nature of the tale.

This is one of those novels that needs to be read and re-read.  There is so much here and such depth that it will, in my opinion, take more than one read through to plumb those depths and identify all that is going on with the characters.  So I recommend that lovers of romance novels with tension, authentic emotion, and essential humanity not miss this story.  It is a full length novel and well worth the time and effort to explore.

I give it a rating of 5 out of 5. Judith at Book Binge
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     MAGGIE DOVE

From The Pen & Muse: Maggie Dove is back and not just with a beautiful cover for Call Me Duchess, but back with a tantalizing love story filled with mystery and suspense! This story follows Marguerite Wiggins and her sisters in London in the 1870′s. Left penniless, they must find husbands or positions in order to keep themselves afloat. Marguerite is falling in love, but not before a crazy rapist wants to change her plans. Will he? Will Marguerite attain the love that she wants? You will just have to find out. This is one romance readers will not want to miss. Dove does not disappoint as she enchants the reader and brings back to the life and times in London in 1870. You will also fall head over heals for her characters. So go ahead and pick up this amazing read and get ready to be transported back in time. Be also sure to read the other Dove book, Angel of Windword.

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J.E. CAMMON

Cammon, like Laura Hamilton, writes about worlds with varying monsters such as vampires, lycanthropes, and others. But, unlike Laura Hamilton, Cammon's female characters do not jump in and out of bed with the various monsters, and he doesn't spend endless paragraphs describing various garments. Thank God. Cammon has developed the inhabitants of his world in a refreshing way. Jarvis, the vampire, works as a hit-man for local street-gangs, and can't understand human emotions or even that batteries on a portable radio can go dead. David, the lycanthrope, works as a veterinarian technician (after all, he really understands animals), and has a father whose approval he craves. Nick, a human, is in the unenviable position of being a student of the occult who accidentally awakens a real monster and has to flee for his life. The most horrific character is a beautiful woman named Scarlet who decides that certain individuals need killing, and then throws herself (at times literally) into the task. These individuals interact as friends, family, companions, enemies - in short, all the ways that humans interact. Even though some of them aren't human. This is without question a different approach to the tales of the supernatural.  Reviewed by Author, Zivi Zachs as posted on Amazon.com and B&N.com

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HEATHER HAVEN

I don’t know that I would really call Murder is a Family Business a romance.  It’s really more of a detective story, but that certainly didn’t stop it from being fabulous.  I’m actually pretty excited to read the next couple of books in the series (book two is due in May and book three is in the process of being written).  

This was a nice change from all of the romance I’ve been reading lately.  I fell in love with this book within the first few pages.  Family plays a huge part in the plot, and what a family it is.  Maybe that’s why I liked it so much – the characters are very reminiscent of my own family, at least personality wise. 

So here’s the gist of the story: the Alvarez family runs a private detective agency, focusing on crimes of software piracy.  They are asked by a family friend to investigate her husband, and so they branch out from their typical case load.  The story is told from the point of view of Lee, the Alvarez daughter, who has a tendency to jump into things without necessarily thinking of the consequences.  Her internal monologues are like something straight out of an episode of Gilmore Girls (one of my favorite shows ever, so please, take that as a compliment).  Even at the more serious moments in the book, Lee would think something that would have me laughing.

Like I said, the Alvarez family makes up the cast of characters.  There’s Lila, the 100% WASP, would fit in perfectly on a New England estate, mother, who somehow manages to maintain her composure, hairstyle, and keep her pearls in place even in the face of danger.  Then there’s Richard, the slightly eccentric computer genius, who would probably live in his mother’s basement if he didn’t have a trust fund.  And finally there’s the lovable uncle, Tio Mateo.  Throw in an overprotective police detective, a few illegal Chinese immigrants, a colorful diner waitress, and a girl whose taste in hats makes Lady Gaga’s fashion choices seem mainstream, and you’ve got yourself quite the adventure.

For me, this was a great book.  The writing was clever and I couldn’t stop laughing.  This is the perfect beach book.  And I’m actually pretty excited that the second book in the series comes out just as I’m planning to head to the beach in May.  I can’t wait to see the antics of the Alvarez family continue. - Laura from The 100 Romances Project

Note from Ginger:  I reviewed this book and loved it, too.  I'm anxious to read the second in the series.

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JIM WHITAKER 

4 Stars! “Hill of Beans by Jim Whitaker is written in a conversational style. I do not know Mr. Whitaker, but he must be a hoot to be around. I could picture him sitting around an outdoor barbecue, entertaining his friends with his hilarious anecdotes. I imagine he sees the humor in most situations. Anyone that can laugh at a colonoscopy has to be funny. He is probably one of those guys that can readily laugh at himself. This is one of those books you read for fun. It will brighten the day of the reader.” -
Reviewed by Debra Gaynor for ReviewyourBook.com
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 CASSANDRA DAYNE
Stephanie is a 40-something woman who is meeting her on-line lover for the first time. Both have been burned before, so both are understandably reticent to let another person get too close. They both bear scars, physical as well as mental, that make them scared to share their feelings with another. However, David is determined to bring Stephanie out of herself imposed exile from the opposite sex and he has planned to make every one of Stephanie’s sexual dreams come true.

They have outdoor sex, sex with his buddies looking on, a bit of S/M, exhibitionism and even a threesome. Stephanie is filled with trepidation at what she is about to do, but David brings her along. She finds herself so turned on by him and his caring for her every need, that she agrees to everything and finds her body reacting in the most pleasant of ways with David and his friend, Mark.
Can David and Stephanie help each other to heal? Can they get over their scars, both mental and physical? How will Mark fit into their plans? Will David’s introduction of his daughter Allison chase Stephanie away?
There are conflicts, on all sides and the motives and goals seem to be muddled from time to time, but clearly, these two are ready to live and love again. The only question is if they can trust each other to be what they need for a life together.
I liked the idea that both are a bit older and wiser and have seen more of the world, which allows them to recognize the goodness in each other. Neither is a neophyte at the love game and both are aware that they have some past hobgoblins to get rid of before they can love again. Revving Her Wild Engines is well crafted and very sexy. I enjoyed it a lot.
Reviewer: Patrizia Murray at Manic Reviews

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ROSEANNE DOWELL
Since getting my Kindle, I've become an avid reader of shorter works and Roseanne Dowell's latest release was my most recent purchase. The story reminds me of fantasy most women experience at one time in life. Imagine finding an unconscious, handsome stranger on the lake shore near the house where you're seeking solace and quiet to work on your novel. Despite some misgivings, you can't leave him outside in the cold with a storm approaching, so you haul him inside, remove his wet clothing, and take the time to admire his amazing physique. Emotions you thought long gone are stirred by this mystery man, but unfortunately, he awakens with amnesia and can't dispel any of your fears. Have you helped a serial killer get into your house? Writing fiction is awesome, because you can take the story any direction you want, and Ms. Dowell does that in an entertaining and satisfying way. If you need to have a fantasy fulfilled, then this is the read for you.
Reviewed by Author, Ginger Simpson 

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 MARGARET WEST


When the spirit world collides with the living, anything that can happen, does.

Patricia is a mother who refuses to stay out of her daughter’s life, even when she dies.

Sally can hear her mother, but she can't see her spirit. At first she welcomes her return, but as the month’s progress she starts to feel increasingly peeved by her mother’s constant interference in her life.

When she tells a few white lies on a dating application form, Patricia sets out to prove lies are not a foundation for a healthy relationship. She sabotages Sally’s relationship with Emilio to prove her point, not realizing her interference has caused a catastrophic chain reaction in the spirit world.

It is now down to the spirit of Emilio’s grandmother to put things right. But has Patricia caused too much damage for her to mend?
Have you ever tried to laugh through clenched teeth? Do you love great characters, plenty of laughs and the ‘meddling mother’ routine? Then this is the book for you.

They say ‘the road to hell is paved with good intentions’ and the combination of Sally’s economy with the truth and her mother’s interference ensure that Sally and Emilio’s path to romance is strewn with house-sized boulders.

Sally can ‘hear’ her late mother, Patricia, but can’t see her. Emilio can ‘see’ Sally’s mother as well as hear her.

As far as Patricia is concerned it is a mother’s duty to protect her daughter, but in doing so she breaks too many karmic rules and it takes the intervention of Emilio’s treasured Grandmother to set Patricia right.

Ms. West sets her scenes with a clarity that takes few words, and populated them with her hero, Emilio, and her heroine, Sally. Both characters are flawed and have lessons to face, and yet both endear themselves to the reader. I ground my teeth at Patricia’s antics and yes, you’ve guessed it, laughed at the same time.

If I had any nits with this story, one was with Emilio’s character. He’s in a position of authority at work and yet seems to lack self-confidence at moments when he should have known exactly what to do. Another involved Patricia’s constant meddling in her daughter’s affair. Hence the gritted teeth! And yet, the title says it all!

What I particularly liked about Spirit Intervention is that in this instance the paranormal element of the story did not equate to darkness and evil. Just a mother’s love unleashed.

Ms. West knows her subject and it shows in her writing. If you enjoy paranormal, humour and a gentle romance, then you have all three in this story.
Reviewed by Fennel at Long & Short Romance Reviews

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CIARA GOLD

This book is a page turner. 
Have you ever dreamed of being able to travel to a different time?  This book will definitely allow you to do that.  
Keely is a college student, on her way to graduation and grad school, studying art. Her erotic dreams have her attracted to a very sexy man. She finds out that the man that she thought was the target of her dreams may not actually be the one. When she goes back with Erik, she finds out that all the things she believed about her life are not as she thought.
Erik is the leader of Njord and is sent forward in time to find Keelin and to bring her back with him. He arrives in the 21st century with no knowledge of English or all the changes over 11 centuries. While in this time, he finds out truths about his life that had been hidden from him.
There are many twists and turns that occur throughout the story. Just when you think that you have things figured out, Ms. Gold throws a curve ball. All of the characters interact very well. 
I believe that, whether male or female, the reader will connect with one of the characters in this book. The author does a great job making the hero and heroine seem very real. 
On The Silver Edge of Time is a combination of romance and suspense with a dash of science fiction/magic thrown in.
Reviewed by The Pagan and The Pen

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DIANE SCOTT LEWIS
 
Countess Lisbette Jonquiere (Bettina) has been stripped of her title, left penniless and alone. On the eve of the French Revolution, Bettina flees to England. Bettina now finds herself in need of employment, and, taking a job as a tutor, Bettina begins to develop feelings for her pupil’s uncle, Everett Camborne. According to local gossip, Everett is suspected of murdering his wife, but dismissing the tales, Bettina falls in love with him and now finds that she is carrying his child. The past soon catches up with Bettina, revealing the truth of her father’s death as well as that of Everett.
    A love story steeped in secrets and set against the backdrop of the French Revolution, The False Light is woven with the right amount of fact as well as fiction, each balancing the other in a perfect harmony. Diane Scott Lewis has the power of descriptive writing that makes readers feel as though they are traveling alongside Bettina as she faces the unknown. Simply brilliant.
Reviewed by The Historical Novel Society

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3 comments:

Maggie Dove said...

Ginger,

This is such a marvelous idea. Thank you for thinking of it and for posting our reviews!

Maggie

Peggy said...

Such a good review Margaret for Spirit intervention, and as I have read the book, I totally agree with it.

Peggy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.

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