The Prodigal Son by Danielle Steel

Book Description:

Published: February 24, 2015

In a matter of days, Peter McDowell loses everything he has worked so hard for—his wealth, his property, his livelihood as a star investment banker. And then it gets worse. The stock market crash not only plunges Peter into joblessness, it causes a rift in his marriage that he cannot repair. Stripped of everything, he has only one place to retreat: a lakeside cottage he inherited from his parents, who left most of their modest estate to Peter’s twin. With no other choice, the prodigal son goes home.

A beloved small-town doctor, a devoted family man, and a pillar of his community, Michael McDowell serves others without regard to personal gain. Only Peter knows how Michael manipulated their parents when the boys were young, ultimately driving Peter away. At first, he dreads seeing Michael again. But, to his surprise, their reunion is tender and real. Only later, as Peter mulls over his late mother’s journals, does the truth begin to emerge, as realization and panic begin to set in. Who is his twin? Is the façade real, or does something terrifying lie beneath? Imagination or a reality too terrifying to believe?

In a race for time, Peter throws caution to the winds to find the truth. What he discovers will change their lives forever, the lives of their children, and an entire town.

Powerful, poignant, and filled with complex and layered characters, Prodigal Son is a riveting novel of secrets, salvation, and redemption from master storyteller Danielle Steel.

Review –

Not my favorite because of it’s predictability,  but it was a pleasant book to listen to while driving the highways and byways of Oklahoma.

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Deadline by Sandra Brown

Book Description:

Published: September 24, 2013

Dawson Scott is a well-respected journalist recently returned from Afghanistan. Haunted by everything he experienced, he’s privately suffering from battle fatigue which is a threat to every aspect of his life. But then he gets a call from a source within the FBI. A new development has come to light in a story that began 40 years ago. It could be the BIG story of Dawson’s career–one in which he has a vested interest.

Soon, Dawson is covering the disappearance and presumed murder of former Marine Jeremy Wesson, the biological son of the pair of terrorists who remain on the FBI’s Most Wanted list. As Dawson delves into the story, he finds himself developing feelings for Wesson’s ex-wife, Amelia, and her two young sons. But when Amelia’s nanny turns up dead, the case takes a stunning new turn, with Dawson himself becoming a suspect. Haunted by his own demons, Dawson takes up the chase for the notorious outlaws. . .and the secret, startling truth about himself.

Review –

I found it very hard to become invested in this book because after the prologue it was very slow in most parts and it bogged down. It does have two serious twists that I did not see coming and that made up for the slowness but on the whole I rated it three out of five stars. I listened to it driving back and forth to another town about 100 miles away for several days in a row,(husband had surgery)so I was stuck listening or I would have pulled my hair out.

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Speaking In Bones (Temperance Brennan #18) by Kathy Reichs

Book Description:

Published: July 21, 2015

For every case Temperance Brennan has solved, there remain innumerable unidentified bodies in her lab. Information on some of these is available online, where amateur sleuths sometimes take a stab at solving cases.

One day, Tempe gets a call from Hazel “Lucky” Strike, a web sleuth who believes she’s successfully connected a body in Tempe’s lab to a missing persons report on an eighteen-year-old named Cora Teague. Since the bones in her lab do seem to match Cora’s medical records, Tempe looks into the case, returning to the spot where the bones were originally found. What seems at first to be an isolated tragedy takes on a more sinister cast as Tempe uncovers two more sets of bones nearby.

When she then learns that the area is known as a viewing point for a famous unexplained light phenomenon with significance for a local cult, Tempe’s suspicious turn to murder by ritual sacrifice—a theory thrown into question when Hazel herself turns up dead.

Still reeling from her mother’s diagnosis and the shock of Andrew Ryan’s potentially life-changing  proposal, Tempe races to solve the murders before the body count climbs further.

Review –

Although I enjoyed the book, I was expecting better.

I thought Ryan’s proposal would have more importance in the story than it did. I know Tempe loves him and yes, he has hurt her more than once, but I still believe she wants a life with him. Maybe marriage is not the answer, right now, and that’s exactly what happens at the end of the book. Tempe and Ryan are looking at condos in Quebec and moving in together at Tempe’s suggestion. To see how it goes. I think she’s afraid of giving up her independence by marrying  or even moving in with him. She’s not happy about having to sell her condo and I think in future books we’ll find her content to continue status quo.

The hunt for the identity of the bones in the story was good and with the several twists turns made for enjoyable reading, but it wasn’t the kind that you couldn’t put down and sometimes was a bit on the dry side.

But I’m glad I read/listened to it and look forward to the next one.

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Mistress by James Patterson and David Ellis

Book Description:

Published: August 5, 2013

Ben isn’t like most people. Unable to control his racing thoughts, he’s a man consumed by his obsessions: movies, motorcycles, presidential trivia-and Diana Hotchkiss, a beautiful woman Ben knows he can never have. When Diana is found dead outside her apartment, Ben’s infatuation drives him on a hunt to find out what happened to the love of his life. Ben soon discovers that the woman he pined for was hiding a shocking double life. And now someone is out to stop Ben from uncovering the truth about Diana’s illicit affairs. In his most heart-pumping thriller yet, James Patterson plunges us into the depths of a mind tortured by paranoia and obsession, on an action-packed chase through a world of danger and deceit.

Review –

The character of Ben Casper is more likely to go off on a tangent about scenes, dialogue and his favorite actors from the movies, or list trivia of all the presidents. I believe he does this to stay sane. When he was eight his father killed his mother and blamed it on him (later, much later-we find out why) and all these years he has hated his father.

He doesn’t have a relationship with a female now or ever that we can discern, but he would love to have one with Diana Hotchkiss, whom he finds out wasn’t the person he thought her to be. 

The story is full of intrigue, blackmail, assassins, Russians, Chinese, secrets, deception and edge of the seat action.

I thoroughly enjoyed it and highly recommend it if you like an action-packed mystery.

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Murder of an Angel (Confessions #4) by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro

Book Description:

Published: October 26, 2015

In the dramatic conclusion of the bestselling Confessions series, Tandy Angel’s next murder case could be her own!

Tandy Angel is losing her mind—or so she thinks. Even as she’s forced to fight for the family company, she’s imagining new dangers in every shadow. And as her detective prowess is called into question and her paranoia builds, she has to face the very real possibility that the stalker she’s convinced will take her life could be all in her head—or the very real danger that finally brings her down.

Review –
I had looked forward to this book for a long time and I’m sad to say it was very disappointing.
I think the author, James Patterson, was too busy with other projects to give this concluding installment of the Confessions series his full attention and do it justice.
We knew the identity of the “bad guy” from the get go and their was no mystery or depth to the characters this time. Instead, everything seemed rushed and the total outcome was underwhelming.
I’m glad I read it but I hate that there are still questions without answers and that it ended with a semi cliff-hanger (not really) but there are things said that could have led to another installment.
Maybe Maxine Paetro  should have done the majority of the writing  and gone on to write #5 and give it a proper conclusion.
What about it, Ms. Paetro?
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Mean Streak by Sandra Brown

Book Description:

Published: August 19, 2014

Dr. Emory Charbonneau, a pediatrician and marathon runner, disappears on a mountain road in North Carolina. By the time her husband Jeff, miffed over a recent argument, reports her missing, the trail has grown cold. Literally. Fog and ice encapsulate the mountainous wilderness and paralyze the search for her.

While police suspect Jeff of “instant divorce,” Emory, suffering from an unexplained head injury, regains consciousness and finds herself the captive of a man whose violent past is so dark that he won’t even tell her his name. She’s determined to escape him, and willing to take any risks necessary to survive.

Unexpectedly, however, the two have a dangerous encounter with people who adhere to a code of justice all their own. At the center of the dispute is a desperate young woman whom Emory can’t turn her back on, even if it means breaking the law.

As the FBI closes in on her captor, Emory begins to wonder if the man with no name is, in fact, her rescuer.

Review –

Five-star-feedback-on-oDesk

The last book I read by author, Sandra Brown, was in 2012 and I don’t know why it’s taken me this long to pick up another.

I found this one on Overdrive, which is a virtual library membership that is free. I placed it on hold and when it became available it came into my que.

The blurb doesn’t do the plot justice and is a bit misleading.

Dr. Emory Charbonneau is rescued by a big, tall, good-looking(in a dangerous way)man who refuses to tell her his name. Events occur that lead her to believe that he may be responsible for her head injury and unconsciousness when he found her on a secluded running trail. The weather turns bad and he is prevented from taking her back to town so for four days she is his “guest”  in his cabin, although sometimes she feels like his captive. Her marriage is not in a good place and she feels drawn to this dangerous man with the gravelly voice and the night before he is able to drive her back to town they have mind-blowing sex.

The police who have been leading the search for her believe that her husband, who they discovered is having an affair with her business partner and best friend, is guilty of murdering her but haven’t found concrete evidence to prove it.

There are many  twists and turns and we learn that things are not as they seem on all fronts and I won’t give away anything by saying that the feelings generated by the chemistry of the man, later named as Hayes, and Emory are akin to a roller coaster. One minute they are arguing  and being distance and the next there is more hot sex. Ninety-nine percent of the sex is implied and I think that made the book more erotic than if the author had laid everything out. This was an audio book and the narrator, Jonathan Davis, did a marvelous job and gave Hayes a sexy,hot, gravelly voice that I would listen to even if he were reading a phone book!

The identity of the person responsible for knocking Emory unconscious came as a total surprise to me and it made the ending even better.

This is a wonderful who-dun-it with sexual undertones and I highly recommend it.

 

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Dishing The Dirt (Agatha Raisin Mysteries #26) by M.C. Beaton

Book Description:

Published: September 15, 2015

A therapist had moved into the village of Carsely and Agatha Raisin hates her. Not only was this therapist, Jill Davent, romancing Agatha’s ex-husband, but she had dug up details of Agatha’s slum background.

Added to that, Jill was counselling a woman called Gwen Simple from Winter Parva and Agatha firmly believed Gwen to have assisted her son in some grisly murders, although has no proof she had done so.

A resentment is different from a dislike and needs to be shared, so as the friendship between James and Jill grows stronger, the more Agatha does to try to find out all she can about her. When Jill is found strangled to death in her office two days’ later, Agatha finds herself under suspicion – and must fight to clear her name.

Review –

I usually love an Agatha Raisin Mystery  but this one was disappointing.

The writing seemed rushed, there were too many deaths, SEVEN(even for a murder mystery) and while the killer did have a motive it just seemed a bit too easy. I do realize that the end leaves it wide open to be continued in the next installment, which I’m guessing will come out next year.

I did like that Mrs. Bloxby, the vicar’s wife, gets her own plot development and it’s about time. Her husband takes her for granted and is a rude man.

Agatha is still looking for Mr. Right and I do wish the author would find one for her. It would serve James, her ex-husband, and Charles, and old friend and sometimes bed mate, right.

While I did enjoy the book it just didn’t live up to the standard of the others, but I will be sure to read the next one because that’s what avid readers do-READ.

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Theirs to Keep (Tangled Hearts Trilogy #1) by Maya Banks

Book Description:

Published: October 22, 2013

When Cade Winslow and Merrick Sullivan find Elle hiding in the cabinet of a gun store, they know they can’t just walk away from the fragile woman with no memory of who she is or who tried to kill her. Merrick is training for the title shot in the heavyweight division as a mixed martial artist and can’t afford distractions, but neither can he turn his back on the woman who tugs at his heartstrings.

Elle feels safe with her two protectors, and the longer she spends with them, the more she realizes that she has no desire to remember her past. Not when it could compromise her future with Cade and Merrick.

Cade has his own set of concerns when it comes to Elle, and it quickly becomes clear to the two men that for the first time in their friendship, a woman is coming between them. But what if they just kept her there? Between them. Where she belongs.

Review –

This is a MMF Menage Erotic Romance involving a mixed martial arts fighter and his best friend who jointly owns a security firm and a woman, badly beaten with amnesia, who they take into their home, hearts and beds.

Over the course of the story Elle remembers bits and pieces and thinks the man who beat her and tried to kill her might be a cop. After Merrick wins the title she remembers the name of a town where she might have been when she was beaten, so the trio decides to soon make a trip and see what else Elle can remember so that her past can be dealt with and their future can proceed.

I thought it was good and the sex scenes were tastefully done but very explicit.

This is the first of three books in the Tangled Hearts Trilogy.

Adult

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Every Fifteen Minutes by Lisa Scottoline

Book Description:

Published: April 14, 2015

Dr. Eric Parrish is the Chief of the Psychiatric Unit at Havemeyer General Hospital outside of Philadelphia. Recently separated from his wife Alice, he is doing his best as a single Dad to his seven-year-old daughter Hannah. His work seems to be going better than his home life, however. His unit at the hospital has just been named number two in the country and Eric has a devoted staff of doctors and nurses who are as caring as Eric is. But when he takes on a new patient, Eric’s entire world begins to crumble. Seventeen-year-old Max has a terminally ill grandmother and is having trouble handling it. That, plus his OCD and violent thoughts about a girl he likes makes Max a high risk patient. Max can’t turn off the mental rituals he needs to perform every fifteen minutes that keep him calm. With the pressure mounting, Max just might reach the breaking point. When the girl is found murdered, Max is nowhere to be found. Worried about Max, Eric goes looking for him and puts himself in danger of being seen as a “person of interest” himself. Next, one of his own staff turns on him in a trumped up charge of sexual harassment. Is this chaos all random? Or is someone systematically trying to destroy Eric’s life?

New York Times best selling author Lisa Scottoline’s visceral thriller, Every Fifteen Minutes,brings you into the grip of a true sociopath and shows you how, in the quest to survive such ruthlessness, every minute counts.

Review –

Great story line and had me hooked from the beginning. I thought I knew who the sociopath was but I was wrong and I love it when that happens because that means the story was not as predictable as I had first thought. I had the audio version and the only thing that kept it from getting a five-star rating was the narrator. He was bland and  I thought  he needed more emotion in his speech.

Great read, be sure and give it a try.

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Fierce (Chicago Underground #3) by Skye Warren

Book Description:

Published: May 29, 2015

“…they were fascinating, kept me completely engrossed, and had me dying to know what was going to happen next.” ~ Lori’s Book Blog

I’m torn between what I want and what I need. Between the men in my past and the man by my side. Colin has tried to control me, to use me. But he also guards me so fiercely my heart aches.

Raincheck. Business. Don’t wait up. —C

That’s the note he leaves for me, as if I could sit around while he fights my dragons. As if I could let himself get killed in some vain attempt to protect me.

There’s no protection left for me. No redemption either.

This is my battle, and I’ve already lost.

“Dark and edgy…but don’t be fooled. There’s a wonderful love story running through this book.” ~ Charlotte Stein, author of Sheltered

Review –

The author, Skye Warren, brought the arc centering on Allie and Colin  to a conclusion with a BANG!

Her characters are so tough and real.

 Some of the things Allie has endured will make you want to cry. But, she doesn’t let it stop her. Colin has been dealt a bad hand as well, and he does his best to keep them all going.

We find out more about Colin’s brother, Philip, and he is quite a character in his own right.  Shelly, Allie’s best friend, plays a big role in this story, she has a heart of gold and will do anything to help Allie and Bailey, even if it gets her hurt.

All the secrets Allie and Colin have been fighting hard to keep come to light and  a devastating betrayal may cost them everything they have been fighting for.

This book was face paced, suspenseful,dramatic and tender all at the same time. I love these characters and I’m so glad they got their HEA at the end.

The next books in the series deal with Shelly and I haven’t decided if I will continue now or take a break from the Chicago Underground and let my brain cool off.

Fantastic series!!!!! 

 

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