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Friday, December 12, 2014

STOLEN IN THE NIGHT (GARY C. KING)



MY REVIEW:
"A known sexual psychopath. Joseph Duncan had been convicted of raping and torturing a 14-year-old boy in Tacoma, Washington. On the Internet he proudly boasted of his perversions. But the system turned Duncan loose, and no one would stop him from committing an even more horrifying act...

An innocent family. This time, he prepared meticulously. He chose his get-away car. He chose his murder weapon and loaded a video camera. Then, when he saw young Shasta and Dylan Groene playing outside their Idaho home, he struck - killing their mother and her boyfriend, and their older brother...and vanishing into the night with Shasta and Dylan.

A crime that shook the nation. Detectives pored over the bloody murder scene. The FBI scrambled to find the children and the abductor. And even when Duncan was finally located, the story was not yet over: Dylan was still missing...and the depth of one man's evil was still coming horribly to light..."

This true story is absolutely horrifying and shocking! I can't believe that the 'system', time and time again, lets these type of people out of jail. Each time they are let out they re-offend. Once caught, charged and thrown in jail, they serve their time and are again allowed out to re-offend yet again. Something needs to change. New laws need to be put in place to protect these innocent victims. You'll be shocked at what you read in "Stolen in the Night."

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

A MOST INCONVENIENT MARRIAGE (REGINA JENNINGS)



MY REVIEW:

"With few options of her own, nurse Abigail Stuart agrees to marry her patient, a gravely wounded soldier calling himself Jeremiah Calhoun.  They arrange a quick ceremony before he dies, giving Abigail the rights to his Ozark farm and giving Jeremiah the peace of knowing someone will care for his ailing sister after he's gone - a practical solution for both of them.

After the war, Abigail fulfills her side of the bargain - until the real Jeremiah Calhoun shows up, injured but definitely alive, and wastes no time in challenging Abigail's story, Abigail is flummoxed.  After months of claiming to be his widow, how can she explain that she's never seen this Jeremiah Calhoun before?  How can she convince him that she isn't trying to steal his farm?  And will she find a way to stay, even though this practical arrangement has turned into a most inconvenient marriage?"

I loved this book.  Got right into it and didn't stop until I was done.  The back and forth and the love/hate relationship between Abigail and Jeremiah was almost comical but very serious at the same time.  It was a great read and I would have no qualms recommending it to anyone.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

THE SECRET OF PEMBROOKE PARK (JULIE KLASSEN)



MY REVIEW:


Yes, I agree with the author that this is her longest book to date but I'm certainly pleased that it was. For as long as it was, I still didn't want it to end. The intrigue, the suspense, the mystery, the hidden passageways, the secret treasure, a complicated family all made for an extremely compelling read!

Abigail Foster is the practical daughter while her younger sister, Louisa is more inmmature and flamboyant, often ignorning social norms and finding herself in some embarrasing binds. She listens little to the advice of her sister or others. Abigail fears she will end up an old maid, especially since she has little dowry, and the one man she thought might marry her seems to have fallen for, Louisa. Of course, this is difficult on Abigail's heart.

Abigail's father is facing financial ruin and is forced to sell their grand home and is in search for more affordable lodgings when a strange lawyer arrives with an outstanding and unusual offer. "He's offering the use of a distant manor house abandoned for eighteen years. The Fosters journey to imposing Pembrooke Park and are startled to find it entombed as it was abruptly left: tea cups encrusted with dry tea, moth-eathen clothing in wardrobes, and a doll's house left in mid-play.

The handsome local curate welcomes them, but though he and his family seem acquaintd with the manor's past, the only information they offer is a stern warning: Beware trespassers drawn by rumours that Pembrooke Park contains a secret room filled with treasure.

This catches Abigails attention. Hoping to restore her family's finances - and her dowry - Abigail looks for this supposed treasure. But eeries sounds at night and footprints in the dust reveal she isn't the only one secretly searching the house.

Then Abigail begins receiving anonymous letters, containing clues about the hidden room and startling discoveries about the past.

As old friends and new foes come calling at Pembrooke Park, secrets come to light. Will Abigail find the reasure and love she seeks...or very real danger?"

I couldn't put this book down. Sometimes I'd read perhaps 8 chapters then decide to put it down and go and get some housework completed but then would change my mind and pick the book back up and begin reading again. I really couldn't put it down.

I know a lot of people are going to enjoy this one. You've outdone yourself, Julie...congratulations!!!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

LOVE UNEXPECTED (Beacon of Hope) - Book One - Jody Hedlund



MY REVIEW:
If any two people were meant to be together, it's Emma Chambers and Patrick Garraty. But will they ever accomplish this goal?

After surviving a shipwreck with her brother, Ryan, twenty-two-year-old, Emma had no where on this earth to go. No family and no friends and no job. How is she ever going to support herself?

A highly unusual solution presents itself when the lighthouse keeper, Patrick, arrives in town. Patrick had just lost his wife Delia and was left alone to raise their two-year-old son, Josiah. Josiah idolized, Patrick and rarely let him out of his sight. Emma decides to mary, Patrick purely for convenience, to have a place to live. Parick needed someone to care fo Josiah while he worked in the lighthouse and she needed a place to live and sustain herself with food.

Has Emma jumped from the frying pan into the fire by marrying, Patrick so hastily? The stories and rumours she begins to hear about him have her very worried and feeling anxious and unsettled. What has she done? Her lifelong dream of having a family and home may just go down the drain.

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

THE WAY LIFE SHOULD BE (CHRISTINA BAKER KLINE)



HarperCollins|September 8, 2014|Trade Paperback|ISBN # 978-0-06-236354-1

''Thirty-three-year-old New Yorker, Angela Russo, dissatisfied with a career that amounts to gliding across a smooth plateau of predictability and fed up with abysmal blind dates, responds to an online personal ad written by Rich, a sailing instructor from Mount Desert Island, Maine. Angela begins to fall in love with the idea of Maine life just as much as she finds herself falling for Rich, and when her career suddenly goes up in flames, she moves to Mount Desert Island. Once she arrives, however, she learns that her vision of perfect New England life - and her perfect New England man - is far removed from reality. Rather than return to New York, Angela rents a rundown cottage and begins teaching an impromptu cooking class (based on recipes from her Italian grandmother). She befriends an eclectic handful of locals and carves out a new identity for herself. Initially, this tale of a lovelorn city girl out of her element feels like another foray into well-covered territory. But Kline (Desire Lines; Sweet Water) has a perfect sense of character and timing, and her vivid digressions on food (recipes are included) add sugar and spice to what could have been a stale premise." (Taken from Publisher's Weekly).

A thoroughly enjoyable read!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

THE STORY HOUR (THRITY UMRIGAR)




HarperCollins|August 11, 2014|Hardcover|ISBN # 978-0-06-225930-1

An experienced psychologist, Maggie carefully maintains emotional distance from her patients. But when she agrees to treat a young Indian woman who tried to kill herself, her professional detachment disintegrates. Cut off from her family in India, and trapped in a loveless marriage to a domineering man who limits her world to their small restaurant and grocery store, Lakshmi is desperately lonely.

Moved by Lakshimi's plight, Maggie offers to see her as an outpatient for free. In the course of their first sessions in Maggie's home office, she quickly realizes that what Lakshmi really needs is not a shrink but a friend, Maggie abandons protocol, and soon doctor and patient become close. Even though they seemingly have nothing in common, both women are haunted by loss and truths that they are afraid to reveal.

However, crossing professional boundaries has its price. As Maggie and Lakshmi's relationship deepens, long-buried secrets come to light that shake their faith in each other and force them to confront painful choices in their own lives.

I don't know how Thrity does it but she tops herself time and time again. I've read every single book she has written thus far and not one of them has been a disappointment. I was so lost and caught up in this story that I literally tuned everything and everyone else right out. This is a a beautiful story of friendship and forgiveness that you won't soon forget. Way to go Ms. Umrigar!

THE LANGUAGE OF SISTERS (AMY HATVANY)




Simon & Schuster|September 11, 2013 | Trade Paperback|ISBN # 978-1-4516-8813-9


Ten years ago Nicole Hunter left her family home as it was troubled and she was not able to cope with the demands of life with her disabled sister, Jenny. She gave up her therapists practice, moved to a different state, and took a job as a baker. A whole new life.

One day while working in the bakery, she thought she could clearly hear her disabled sister, Jenny say "help!". Nicole thought that odd and wondered if she was really hearing that inside her head or not. A few minutes later the word "help" again came through. Worried that something might be wrong with her sister, who was a resident of a residential care facility she phoned her mother to inquire about Jenny's well-being. When Jenny's mother told, Nicole that her developmentally delayed sister had been raped and was pregnant, the news sent Nicole reeling! Nicole decided she had to go home to help care for Jenny during her pregnancy to make up for the past ten years that she'd almost literally abandoned her. Her guilt meter was off the top.

She and her mother didn't get along all that well and often clashed and they worked around each other in silence. Nicole's mother refused to help care for Jenny at all and left all personal and other care up to Nicole alone.

Eventually, Nicole run's into her old friend, Nova and she finally has someone she can talk too and when she is faced with the most difficult choice of her life, Nicole rediscovers the beauty of sisterhood - and receives a special gift that will change her life forever.

THE LANGUAGE OF SISTERS was a beautifully written story that can be read again and again and again.