Late Post – Review: Friction by Sandra Brown

Friction is another nail-biter from Sandra Brown. From the very first paragraph, to the last sentence, I was caught by the story and could not put the book down. Every time I got to the end of a chapter, something monumental would be revealed and I had to keep reading. A roller coaster of a book, this one is a definite keeper.

Friction is the story of Holly, a judge and Crawford, a Texas Ranger who’s trying to get his daughter back. They meet inside the courtroom where Holly is ruling on his custody plea. Before she can try and do that, there’s a commotion and a gunman enters the courtroom shooting.

I hadn’t read much about the back, I just started on the book and it pays to not know what is going to happen, because each turn and twist left me gasping, staring at the book in disbelief–and there are a lot of turns and twists.

I loved that Holly was a professional woman in a job that’s not usually reserved for the heroine. I liked that she had a job in law enforcement. And Holly takes that responsibility very seriously, further endearing her to me.

Crawford, on the other hand, has had a few too many punches from life and is a little cynical. He doesn’t care who understands him or who hates him. When he’s trying to help Holly out, his attitude sometimes backfires and causes more difficulties. He’s still hard to resist. Under all that tough bravado, he’s got a heart of gold and will give everything in his power to help out someone in distress. That’s hard not to like.

This one is a well-written, powerfully addictive book. One that I loved reading during the hot summer days and will enjoy again and again. If you haven’t tried Sandra Brown, check this one out and, if you’re a fan, don’t miss out. This one is a keeper.

(credit:sandrabrownbooklist.com)

(credit:sandrabrownbooklist.com)

Note: click on cover to go to site.

Sneak Review: The Girl on the Train

I have to admit, the book is not romance and not on my list of books to read this year or even on my radar when I saw it. I shouldn’t have read it. I’m a romance fan and I should have integrity…but a friend lent it to me if I wanted to give it a try. It was free and in my hands. I just couldn’t resist.

The Girl on the Train is a thriller. It’s the story of Rachel, who travels back and forth on the train every day to London and, one day witnesses something on one of the houses nearby that makes her a witness to a tragedy.

Because it’s a thriller, I don’t want to reveal what happens, not even a little bit. You can go on line and find those spoilers there for you, but I don’t want to harm the reading experience of those potential readers by disclosing too much. Instead, I’ll ramble on about what I liked about this book and what I thought of it.

For one, the tone. It’s written in the first person and, when done right, that’s captivating. My impression of Rachel was both powerful and personal. I knew her inside out within a couple of chapters.

The other thing that’s done really well is the pace. It grew slowly and picked up speed gently, almost without letting me realize it, I was suddenly flipping pages and things were going nuts. I stopped doing anything else and ignored my husband because I had to finish this book.

Since it’s set in London, the tone and expressions of every character is very British. I loved that. It was so accurate that I could practically hear the accent. I particularly loved the setting and the tea references. So UK.

It was realistic. That was something else I appreciated about it immensely. It didn’t have a radical, extraordinary ending that threw everything else I had read into question. No, the ending actually answered questions and fit like a beautiful final piece into the rest of the story.

Now, if you’d like to try this book, I think you can already tell that I would definitely recommend it, it’s written by Paula Hawkins and it’s her first book. It’s a bestseller, so there are definitely a lot of people out there who’d recommend it but, since it’s her first book, there aren’t any more to read until she comes out with the next one. I have a solution to that dilemma. If you like this book, I’d recommend Sandra Brown. I know she writes romance but it’s thriller romance and absolutely a page-turner. If you like this one, you’ll also love Sandra Brown.

(credit:wikipedia)

(credit:wikipedia)

 

 

 

Review: Breath of Scandal

I picked up Breath of Scandal because the back intrigued me and Sandra Brown is a reliable bet. The book tells the story of Jade, a girl who leaves a small southern town after a horrible incident and comes back to face her attackers and find her happy ending. It seemed like a great read and it was thick enough at 500 plus pages, to keep me happy for a while. I wasn’t disappointed and thought I’d share this one with you.

One of the best parts of the book is the slow introduction of the characters. The book retells most of their lives, from an impactful beginning to the present, when Jade comes back to the town. It was delicious to see them emerge, slowly and hear about their lives. It made them fully fleshed, complete persons for me and all the more impactful when they spoke and acted.

The back explains the story happened this way: “On a rainy Southern night, Jade Sperry endured a young woman’s worst nightmare at the hands of three local hell-raisers.” The details of what happened were difficult to read, though I should add that I’m particularly sensitive to violence. Thankfully, Sandra Brown treats the topic with due respect and doesn’t dismiss it or play it down. In fact, the horrible incident is crucial to understanding Jade and her personality, so I could bear the difficulty of reading it because I knew it was pivotal to the story.

And that one night isn’t the entire story. Jade leaves the town but returns and…sure enough, like the book says, ‘all hell breaks loose’.

Hearing Jade’s story, like that of the other characters was amazing. I loved seeing and understanding the choices she made and how she moved up, through life until she was a competent professional with a tough attitude towards work that ensured her success.

I also loved seeing Dillon develop slowly. We hear about his life before Jade, what he did and who he was. Like her, the past doesn’t leave him unscathed but his story explains just why he huffs and leaves a scene or why he doesn’t say much in an argument. We know where he has come from and what’s going on in his head without the author having to tell us.

Dillon and Jade’s love story unfurls slowly while she’s trying to find peace to the demons from the past and he’s trying to find peace in his life. I won’t ruin it by revealing it but I will say that it was both believable and beautiful.

The story has many threads but they’re all carefully tied neatly at the end. There are, of course, some twists and turns but there is a happy ending–and a believable one. It was an ending that justified the long journey it took the reader to get there and that was just yummy.

I would obviously recommend this book. It’s a story of triumph over tragedy from an underdog and I love that concept. But I would say that the best part is the slow, rich tapestry it weaves, telling us a story that began with horrible trauma but ends in a happy resolution. If you’re a fan of Sandra Brown or would like a lovely story to read on a summer night, this one is for you.

(credit:goodreads.com)

(credit:goodreads.com)

Note: To go to site, click on cover.

Review: Mean Streak

Sandra Brown usually does mystery and I’m not a big fan of that genre. Having said that, I loved Mean Streak. It’s got a fantastic plot, a mystery simple enough that it kept the romance alive, and a beautiful love story. Add to that, the amazing Sandra-Brown-touch with cliffhangers and you have a page-turner that I just couldn’t put down.

The plot was awesome. It stars with a prologue. Not a huge one, so I didn’t get put off, but it left me hanging and I had to read on to find out what happened. Emory is our heroine and she’s an accomplished doctor who likes to run. I immediately liked her. Running endeared her to me even if her personality hadn’t been awesome, but it was. She’s determined and tough and will keep trying no matter what. I loved her.

She’s training for a marathon and has an ‘accident’, then wakes up captive by a very intimidating man. He’s our hero and will remain nameless, like he is for quite a bit of the book, but he’s really awesome. He’s gruff, introverted, cryptic and just as determined to do the right thing as she is. While he’s presented as mean-looking, I was almost immediately won over because he’s incredibly gentle and kind to Emory, taking care of her to his own detriment and putting all other considerations aside.

The mystery of who hurt Emory keeps the book going, though for me, the big issue was how the hero and heroine were going to get together. Finally, when things are explained, it wasn’t so complicated that I couldn’t make out what happened or understand it. And there was a happy ending, which made the romantic-lover in me grin with delight.

Mean Streak was so much fun. It was easy to read, incredibly addictive and not too gory. I would recommend it strongly for any Sandra Brown fans, anyone who likes mystery and anyone who’s into romance. It’s got a special place on my keeper shelf and has me looking for more books from this author.

(credit: goodreads.com)

(credit: goodreads.com)

Note: click on cover to go to site.

What I’m reading…

 

(credit: goodreads.com)

(credit: goodreads.com)

Strangers in the night is a story collection from Linda Howard. It has three short stories, all romance written by her. If you’ve never tried Linda Howard, this is a great way to see if you like her because those stories are really short. There’s no commitment.

Personally, I love Linda Howard and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this puppy simply because I hadn’t read these three stories by her. Short or long, she’s simply awesome.

 

 

 

(credit: goodreads.com)

(credit: goodreads.com)

 

Mean Streak is a mystery-romance by Sandra Brown. Sandra Brown is a fantastic author and I loved the premise of this book. It’s the story of a kidnapping and that idea had me already interested. A man, her captive stuck in a cabin in the mountains? Love it.

I’d also highly recommend Sandra Brown to anyone who likes mystery or a show like CSI or Criminal Minds. She’s a master twists and plots that leave you hanging in the best of ways.

 

 

(credit: goodreads.com)

(credit: goodreads.com)

 

Indecent proposal was another must-have because of the plot. It’s a forced marriage and it’s one of those plots that I love. Add a great writer and you’ve got a book that I read under 3 hours. It was absolutely delicious.

I haven’t read Molly O’Keefe before this one and I was delighted to find she’s awesome. Finding a great author is like discovering a precious gem. Such a gift!

 

 

I’m reading these three right now and I’ll share my thoughts on them coming up on this humble little blog. If you’ve read them, feel free to share yours too!

Review: Rainwater

Rainwater is a love story with angst in the best sense. Our heroine is Ella, a woman abandoned by her husband and raising a child who’s got autism. Ella is the best type of heroine, courageous, determined, driven and without any self-pity. Her lot in life isn’t easy. She works from sunrise to sunset while keeping careful watch over her little child. She runs a home and has tenants but, while that wouldn’t be a big deal today, this story is set in 1934. Times were a little different then.

Ella has to fight the prejudice of the town against her son and against her self. To have clean clothes, she has to wash them by hand, then use a wringer to get the water from them, then hang them to dry, then cook up starch and then finally iron them. Just reading the list of chores that one item took her made me feel tired.

The book starts with the arrival of Mr. Rainwater who changes Ella’s life. He’s a man looking for a quiet place to live until things in his life settle (I don’t want to give anything away here so I’m being vague on purpose). He’s a fantastic hero, determined and courageous even when the odds are stacked heavily against him.

I cried with this book. Horrible things happen. It’s the depression and cattle die–in horrid ways. Racism is rampant and people die. In the middle of it, Ella and Mr. Rainwater try to protect each other and help those around them.

It’s a slow moving book, just like the summers in Texas, but it’s a page turner. I ate this one up in one sitting. Just like the slow pace of the book, Ella and Mr. Rainwater slowly fall in love. It was beautiful to read.

It’s a wonderful, sad love story and I highly recommend this book. Though it’s not the usual type for Sandra Brown, I still think it’s so worthwhile.

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Note: click on cover to go to site.

Monday Morsel

Monday Morsel is a little twist I put on the bookish meme Teaser Tuesdays hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. It works just like Teaser Tuesdays…except it’s on Monday. 🙂

Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other Monday Morsel participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

“”Which is why I’ve brought him to you,” the doctor said hastily. “I told Mr. Rainwater that you keep an immaculate house and run a tight ship…” Pg. 18 from Rainwater by Sandra Brown.

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Note: click on cover to go to site.

Review: Two Alone

Rusty is a successful business woman on a trip back home. Cooper is a grumpy veteran with a no-nonsense attitude. They’re on the same plane and, as luck would have it, are the only survivors when it crashes. Hurt, Rusty is dependent on Cooper for her very survival and, together, they struggle to make it alive back to civilization.

Don’t let me confuse you. This is also a romance. Though Rusty and Cooper start off disliking each other, they end up falling in love. Along the ride, they face predators, dangerous situations, and even dangerous people. I won’t say more, because I don’t want to give too much away.

Certainly Rusty and Cooper don’t fall into an easy relationship. He’s grumpy and lets her know what he thinks of her. In turn, she might be injured but she holds her own. They have more than their share of arguments along the way as they work through their issues.

The book is a really fun, light read. There are no complicated, twists in the plot or mysterious details to remember. It’s a great summer read and I’d highly recommend it to anyone interested in a wonderful love story to read at the cottage or at the beach.

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Note: click on book to go to site.

Review: Honour Bound

Honour Bound by Sandra Brown is one of those books that’s just a tasty treat. It starts with a bang, when Lucas kidnaps Aislinn and they set off together. Lucas is a bit of a grumpy bear and Aislinn is not too pleased about finding herself kidnapped, so they don’t start off on the best of terms. That’s what I liked about this story. They discover each other, in spite of their circumstances and in spite of being pretty determined to hate the other person.

I loved a lot of things about this book. I loved the fact that Lucas was native. It’s one of those cultures that I simply love reading about. I loved how spunky and determined Aislinn was. She didn’t fold over and cry victim tears, she fought Lucas and tried every which way to get free. I also loved that there was no mystery here. No one was trying to kill them. There was no who-done-it plot to get through. It was simply a love story–my favourite kind of read.

This was one of Sandra Brown’s early works. It’s interesting to see how she’s grown as an author but the book by itself is a delicious read. It’s simply a love story with two unlikely characters surviving a fun adventure. Fun, light and easy to read. I’d highly recommend it.

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Note: click on the image to go to the book’s site.

Top ten posts for June!

These are the top ten posts in June according to you!

10. Coming in last is my post announcing changes to Olivia’s Choice page.

9. This one got a lot of attention. It’s about getting editing help from a pro who also happens to be a really, really kind person. Check it out if you’re looking for help.

8. A grumpy me and a bunch of cat pictures, readers loved this one on change. Have I mentioned I don’t like change?

7. This Tuesday Teaser got a whole bunch of attention. I actually really like Sandra Brown. I have a couple of her books to read next. YUM!

6. This one was posted a while ago but interest in it has flared up now. It makes sense. If you blog, you need to know about tags. They’re really important.

5. This is what happens when you know someone called Winter Bayne. She’s an incredible writer who’s also insanely busy. Yet, she does this. I’m still in awe.

4. This one was a major hit with readers. I think it has to do with the cutie at the end. And no, we didn’t accept his offer.

3. My mother-in-law is a very unique individual. And so is her way of obtaining pizza. Readers thought it was hilarious.

2. This one was a surprise for me. I had no idea how much readers would connect with this idea.

1. This one is the all time favourite.

A big thank you to you for reading my little blog and sharing your likes and dislikes with me. You made June a wonderful month!