Sunday, April 28, 2013

The Eternity CureBlood of Eden: Book 2

by Julie Kagawa

How do you face the end of eternity?

In Allison Sekemoto's world, there is one rule left: Blood calls to blood

She has done the unthinkable: died so that she might continue to live. Cast out of Eden and separated from the boy she dared to love, Allie will follow the call of blood to save her creator, Kanin, from the psychotic vampire Sarren. But when the trail leads to Allie's birthplace in New Covington, what Allie finds there will change the world forever-and possibly end human and vampire existence.

There's a new plague on the rise, a strain of the Red Lung virus that wiped out most of humanity generations ago-and this strain is deadly to humans and vampires alike. The only hope for a cure lies in the secrets Kanin carries, if Allie can get to him in time.

Allison thought that immortality was forever. But now, with eternity itself hanging in the balance, the lines between human and monster will blur even further, and Allie must face another choice she could never have imagined having to make. (from Netgalley)

My Thoughts

The Immortal Rules (Blood of Eden #1) was one of my most favorite books of 2012 and it has been a long painful wait for book #2.

Well, I’m hear to tell you, it was well worth the wait. The Eternity Cure was better than I could have ever imagined. This story has twist and turns, moments that made me gasp and times when I held my breath. It has that fun mix of characters you love to love and characters you love to hate.

It would be impossible not to cheer for Allie - sweet, determined, feisty - always fighting the inner monster of being a vampire, who just so happens to be in love with a human named Zeke. Is it even possible for their relationship to work out? And who wouldn't fall in love with Zeke - committed and fearless. I like Kanin for his integrity and common sense. I was oddly attached to Jackal. For some reason, I found his sarcastic wit endearing.

I must say, this book flew by way too fast. Ms. Kagawa has a way of pulling the reader into the story and making it where you don't want to put it down. This was excellent! I am really looking forward to continuing the journey of this very entertaining story.

Many, many thanks to Harlequin, via Netgalley, for allowing me to read this in exchange for an unbiased review.

Publish date: April 30, 2013

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Depraved Heart: A Novel

Growing up in Salem, Massachusetts, art curator Tempest Hobbs was surrounded by metaphysical practitioners but considers her own empathic powers a curse. The feelings that assault her became so terrible that she was confined to a psychiatric hospital. Upon her return home, badly shaken and weak, she discovers a letter from Hathor, the mysterious mansion of the Ravenscroft family.
Located on the island of Hephzibah Regrets just off the coast, Hathor is said to be filled with fabulous art and "fairy retreats" where lavish parties are held. But sixteen years ago, during one of those parties, the distinguished dancer and Ravenscroft heir, Raven Silver was shot and killed. His sister Rachel's husband Syd Jupiter, a powerful NFL fullback, was convicted of the depraved heart murder of his brother-in-law and sentenced to twenty-five years in prison.
The letter is from Syd Jupiter, now paroled and living at Hathor. Wyatt Ravenscroft is dead and has left his entire estate to Anjelica, Syd and Rachel's fifteen-year-old daughter. Syd offers Tempest the opportunity to live at Hathor for the summer while cataloging the vast art collection. She welcomes the chance to be away from the constant pressures of life in society.
Tempest is dazzled by the art she finds but is soon aware that there are secrets and lies all around her. Hathor's housekeeper, Audrey, hates Syd and was once, Tempest discovers, Raven's lover. Miles Wainwright, a local fisherman and the only witness to the murder, is hiding something, and Anjelica lives in fear that Syd will be sent back to prison. And then there is Syd's mother, Marie-Isobel, the owner of a Santeria shop in New Orleans' French Quarter, who joins them for the summer with her candles and cleansing rituals.
In the fishing village on Hephzibah Regrets the locals gather every night in the Riptide where men drink and talk fishing, women spin and knit, and everyone relishes the rumors about Hathor. They tell stories of Will Silver, the father Raven and Rachel never knew, and of wild Rosalind, their beautiful mother who died in an insane asylum. As the heat of summer intensifies Tempest discovers more about the secrets, deceptions, love affairs, madness, and mysterious deaths of Hathor's residents. And about Syd Jupiter who is as enigmatic as he is alluring.(From Goodreads)

My Thoughts

My first book by Ms. Valentine and what a great selection! This book had a little of everything - mystery, murder and just the right amount of romance. I really liked the two main character, Tempest and Syd. They both have troubled pasts and lots of reservations about getting involved with each other. I found myself really cheering for both of them. The story takes us right down to the end before we know if their relationship will survive the hurdles placed in their paths.

This book hooked me from the very beginning. I so glad I gave this book a go! Now I need to go check out some of the other books from this very talented writer.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

A Nearly Perfect Copy

Allison Amend

Elmira Howells has a loving family and a distinguished career at an elite Manhattan auction house. But after a tragic loss throws her into emotional crisis, she pursues a reckless course of action that jeopardizes her personal and professional success. Meanwhile, talented artist Gabriel Connois wearies of remaining at the margins of the capricious Parisian art scene. Desperate for recognition, he embarks on a scheme that threatens everything he’s worked for. As these narratives converge, with disastrous consequences, A Nearly Perfect Copy boldly challenges our presumptions about originality and authenticity, loss and replacement, and the perilous pursuit of perfection. (from Netgalley).

My Thoughts

I thought this was an interesting premise. The chapters alternate between Elm and Gabriel’s story. Both characters really want something that require lots of money. Ahhhhhh - therein lies their justification to behave without regard to the moral outcome. It was interesting to watch each of them rationalize their actions.

The story started slow for me. As Elm and Gabriel’s action start to fall apart, things got much more interesting. Would they suffer the consequence of their decisions? This question was the driver for me to finish this book.

My thanks to Doubleday Books, via Netgalley, for allowing me to read this in exchange for an unbiased review.

Publish date: April 9, 2013.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Tuesday's Gone 

Nicci French

In Tuesday’s Gone, a London social worker makes a routine home visit only to discover her client, Michelle Doyce, serving afternoon tea to a naked, decomposing corpse. With no clues as to the dead man’s identity, Chief Inspector Karlsson again calls upon Frieda for help. She discovers that the body belongs to Robert Poole, con man extraordinaire. But Frieda can’t shake the feeling that the past isn’t done with her yet. Did someone kill Poole to embroil her in the investigation? And if so, is Frieda herself the next victim? (from Netgalley)

My Thoughts

I really like the main character Frieda Klein. She has a dogged determination. She sees clues that others miss and has an interesting way to connect the dots. She wouldn’t give up even when everyone else thought the original case was an open and closed deal. She has a kind, troubled heart and cares a great deal for the people in her life.

I did not read the first book of this series and don’t feel that this kept me from enjoying book two. Although I like this one so much that I probably will read book one. I’m very interested in continuing to read this series. There was a nice little cliff hanger that certainly has me interested in book three.

Thanks to Penguin Group/Viking, via Netgalley, for allowing me to read this in exchange for an unbiased review.

Publish date: April 4, 2013.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

The House of Special Purpose
John Boyne

Part love story, part historical epic, part tragedy, The House of Special Purpose illuminates an empire at the end of its reign. Eighty-year-old Georgy Jachmenev is haunted by his past—a past of death, suffering, and scandal that will stay with him until the end of his days. Living in England with his beloved wife, Zoya, Georgy prepares to make one final journey back to the Russia he once knew and loved, the Russia that both destroyed and defined him. As Georgy remembers days gone by, we are transported to St. Petersburg, to the Winter Palace of the czar, in the early twentieth century—a time of change, threat, and bloody revolution. As Georgy overturns the most painful stone of all, we uncover the story of the house of special purpose.

My Thoughts

I really enjoyed this book. I liked the way the author decided to tell his tale. The story is told by Georgy and when we first meet him, he is in his early eighties. In the next chapter, Georgy is sixteen and an unpredictable event occurs that changes his life forever. In alternating chapters, older Georgy’s story moves back in time while younger Georgy’s story moves forward. We eventually get to the point where the two story lines meet and all secrets are revealed.

I couldn’t wait to find out what was meant by “the house of special purpose”. The author does a great job of giving just enough detail in each chapter to keep the reader engaged. Young Georgy’a story is based during the final years of the Romanovs, a period in history I have always found fascinating. I don’t want to ruin it for readers of the book, but this plays a significant part in the story.

As always, I am sad when I have come to the end of such an entertaining book. The good part though is that this is a new author for me. Mr. Boyne has numerous other books published, and if The House of Special Purpose is an indication of his writing, I have a whole batch of books to add to my TBR list.

I would like to thank Other Press, via Netgalley, for allowing me to read this in exchange for an unbiased review. Lucky me.

Published date: April 2, 2013

Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Second Rule Of Ten

A Tenzing Norbu Mystery

Gay Hendricks

Ex–Buddhist monk and ex–LAPD officer turned private eye Tenzing Norbu is back with a new case, a new love, and a whole new set of problems in this fresh installment in The Tenzing Norbu Mystery series.

In The Second Rule of Ten, Norbu investigates the unexplained death of his former client Hollywood mogul Marv Rudolph and searches for the sister, lost during World War II, of wizened Los Angeles philanthropist Julius Rosen. With two cases and an unforeseen family crisis that sends him back to Tibet, Ten finds himself on the outs with his best buddy and former partner, Bill, who is heading the official police investigation into Marv’s death. Cases and crises start to collide. When Ten mistakenly ignores his second rule, he becomes entangled in an unfortunate association with a Los Angeles drug cartel. As he fights to save those he loves, and himself, from the deadly gang, he also comes face to face with his own personal demons. Working through his anger at Bill, doubts about his latest lady love, and a challenging relationship with his father, Ten learns to see the world in a new light—and realizes that in every situation the truth is sometimes buried beneath illusion (from Netgalley)

My Thoughts:

I have so grown to like these stories about Tenzing Norbu. They are light and fun, fast paced and entertaining. The other day, I even found myself using one of Ten’s meditative sayings. My only concern has to do with the statement on the publisher’s website that this is part of a three book detective series. WHAT!?!?!?! Only three books? Please say it isn’t so!

Thank you to Hay House, Inc, via Netgalley, for allowing me to read this in exchange for an unbiased review.

Publish date: January 1, 2013