2013 has been a great year for me with regards to reading. I’ve read a total of 411 books (hopefully it will be 412 by the end of 12/31/2013 but as of 12/30/2013 it is 411), far exceeding my original 2013 goal of 263 books. I’m extremely grateful to the authors, publicists, publishers and assorted others such as BookBrowse, BookTrib, SheReads, Shelf Awareness Pro, GoodReads and LibraryThing for providing me with a host of advance reading material. I’m also very grateful to my local public library, the Kanawha County Public Library for its fantastic digital offerings, not to mention its great librarians, staff and events.
Ten years ago, someone ruined Alice Croft’s life. Now she has a chance to right that wrong–and she thinks she’s found the perfect man to carry out her plan. After watching him for weeks, she breaks into Jack Calabrese’s house to collect the evidence that will confirm her hopes. When Jack comes home unexpectedly, Alice hides in the closet, fearing for her life. But upon finding her, Jack is strangely calm, solicitous . . . and intrigued.
That night is the start of a dark and intense attraction, and soon Alice finds herself drawn into a labyrinth of terrifying surrender to a man who is more dangerous than she could have ever imagined. As their relationship spirals toward a breaking point, Alice begins to see just how deep Jack’s secrets run–and how deadly they could be.
Stranded with a murderer…
Rachel de Luca’s uncanny sense of perception is the key to her success as a self-help celebrity. Even before she regained her sight, she had a gift for seeing people’s most carefully hidden secrets. But the secret she shares with Detective Mason Brown is one she has promised to keep. As for Mason, he sees Rachel more clearly than she’d like to admit…
After a single night of adrenaline-fueled passion, they have agreed to keep their distance—until a string of murders brings them together again. Mason thinks that he can protect everyone he loves, including Rachel, by taking them to a winter hideaway, but danger follows them up the mountain.
As guests disappear from the snowbound resort, the race to find the murderer intensifies. Rachel knows she’s a target. Will acknowledging her feelings for Mason destroy her…or save them both and stop a killer?
Marianne Shearer is at the height of her career, a dauntingly successful barrister, respected by her peers and revered by her clients. So why has she killed herself? Her latest case had again resulted in an acquittal, although the outcome was principally due to the death of the prime witness after Marianne’s forceful cross-examination. Had this wholly professional and unemotional lawyer been struck by guilt or uncertainty, or is there some secret to be discovered in her blandly comfortable private life? Her tenacious colleague Peter Friel is determined to find out of that last trial held the reason for her taking her own life. The transcript holds intriguing clues, but it is another witness at the trial who holds the key to the truth.
Collectors and Thieves
“She walked into the exhibition. There, on the far wall, was that glorious little painting she had always wanted. Without thinking, she took it off the wall, put it under her coat and walked back into the street.”
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Giveaway: a Rafflecopter giveaway
Nothing says “oops” like your naked a** skidding in the salmon mousse…
A year ago, pastry chef Serafina Wilde’s seemingly perfect life fell to pieces. So now, when her eccentric Aunt Pauline calls from Santa Fe needing her help, Sera jumps at the chance to start over. Pauline even offers to let her take over the family business, “Pauline’s House of Passion,” and turn it into a bakery… provided she agrees not to ditch the “back room.” Cupcakes and sex toys don’t exactly mix but Sera is willing to try, and what she finds in the beautiful City Different is the best life has to offer — if she has the courage to go for it.
The key to Theresa MacLean’s latest case lies in a 25-year-old unsolved murder…
Called out to investigate a suspected suicide in a luxury high-rise apartment, forensic scientist Theresa MacLean only just escapes with her life when the building is blown to smithereens. An accident – or something more sinister? A mostly empty block of trendy apartments in downtown Cleveland seems an unlikely terrorist target.
The following day, Theresa is examining another suspected suicide in a wealthy neighbourhood when the cop accompanying her is shot dead by an unseen assailant. Could the two events be connected?
As Theresa painstakingly pieces the clues she uncovers evidence of a dark secret in the murdered cop’s past.
Beloved evangelical minister, Reverend Jimmy Aldridge is shot while protesting in front of an abortion clinic in Jackson, Mississippi. It’s up to female sleuth, transplanted Yankee hate crimes investigator, Detective Darla Cavannah to find his killer before the city comes apart at the seams. Unfortunately, her partner, Detective Tommy Reylander, is a lazy, self-aggrandizing Elvis impersonator and a member of Reverend Jimmy’s church. To make matters worse, Darla has a case of the hots for the prime suspect, the mysterious Dr. Stephen Nicoletti, the director of the clinic and one of the strongest woman’s rights advocates in Mississippi. Assisted by computer geek Uther Pendragon Johnson, Darla’s search for the killer takes her from genteel northeast Jackson to a raunchy strip club south of town, and to an exclusive society in Natchez dedicated to reenacting the rituals of antebellum manhood. In the end, Darla discovers not only the killer, but something far more sinister.
Miss. J. chose Misty of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry. Told you it wasn’t age appropriate but J. carried this book around and browsed through it for the remainder of the day. She told me she was going to read it “in her head” and she might, someday, tell me about it.
After choosing our books, Miss A. wanted a hot cocoa, which I purchased for her at the bookstore’s cafe, and yes I got a Chai Latte. Miss J. wanted candy so we left the bookstore for our local candy and nut store (conveniently located a block away from the bookstore and directly across the street from the library).
The remainder of the afternoon and evening was spent browsing through their books, glancing at a few movies (we never really watched a movie in its entirety), and enjoying their new game called “Let’s torture Auntie Vee.” This was the most fun I’ve had in quite some time. My only regret is that I can’t afford to buy them books every week. Maybe I’ll have to institute a recurring “Take My Nieces to the Library” weekend event. We can spend our Saturday afternoons browsing through library books and then read “in our heads” for the rest of the day.
I hope everyone had a wonderful Saturday. Did you participate in TYCBD? If so, where did you go and what books did you buy? Please share.
Bellman & Black is a heart-thumpingly perfect ghost story, beautifully and irresistibly written, its ratcheting tension exquisitely calibrated line by line. Its hero is William Bellman, who, as a boy of 11, killed a shiny black rook with a catapult, and who grew up to be someone, his neighbours think, who “could go to the good or the bad.” And indeed, although William Bellman’s life at first seems blessed—he has a happy marriage to a beautiful woman, becomes father to a brood of bright, strong children, and thrives in business—one by one, people around him die. And at each funeral, he is startled to see a strange man in black, smiling at him. At first, the dead are distant relatives, but eventually his own children die, and then his wife, leaving behind only one child, his favourite, Dora. Unhinged by grief, William gets drunk and stumbles to his wife’s fresh grave—and who should be there waiting, but the smiling stranger in black. The stranger has a proposition for William—a mysterious business called “Bellman & Black” . . .