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CTM = Crime, Thriller, Mystery Genre Authors

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» Listings for December 2011

  1. Lindsey Kelk I Heart VegasMy Rating: 5/5

    I just love Lindsey Kelk's writing. She has a very funny way of putting characters across and Angela Clark is a perfect example of that. The I Heart series started with I Heart New York, followed by I Heart Hollywood and then I Heart Paris. Her latest release I Heart Vegas features Angel and her pals as she seems to get herself in a pickle.

    The first I Heart Book I read I enjoyed but wasn't overly in love with. Fast forward to today, the day I completed I Heart Vegas and you will find a woman that is slightly in love with Angela Clarke, and wants her very own Angela for Christmas!!!

    For people who haven't read previous books in the series, it doesn't matter you could still pick this book up and read it no worries. But if like me you want to get to know the characters and the story behind Angela ending up in New York then start at the beginning of the series.

    By this point in Angela's life she is living in New York with her boyfriend Alex and things are going swimmingly. There is however one sticking point, and a rather major one at that. Angela's visa has expired and as she's no longer working it's a bit of a problem. The first few chapters of the book were amusing but not rip roaringly funny, but it was fun to see Angela get herself into all sorts of trouble (as usual) while she tries desperately to appear as if everything is okay to Alex. When her friend Jenny decides that a weekend trip to Vegas is the way to cheer them up, she has no idea what will end up happening.

    At this point in the book the humour goes from amusing, to cringe-worthy embarrassment but laugh out loud funny. Angela's friend Jenny is a rude, brash and very outgoing sort of girl and the two of them together get themselves into some very awkward situations. The theme behinds the whole story makes for great reading and although Angela is a hopeless case you can't help wishing that everything works out okay for her.

    By the last part of the book I literally couldn't put it down and just had to go right through to the end. This sort of read is classic chick lit. The mix of two girls on a crazy weekend in Vegas, especially with the stunts they manage to pull off as well as the romance behind the story made for a fabulous read and possibly the best in the I Heart series.

    The only downside is that I have to wait impatiently for the next instalment some time next year entitled I Heart London.

  2. Milly Johnson Here Come The GirlsMy Rating: 5/5

    Having read and enjoyed my first Milly Johnson Book An Autumn Crush, I was really looking forward to reading another. The front covers of her books manage to catch my attention because they are always nice and bright and look inviting. This one was no different, only this time I didn¡¦t realise I would enjoy the book even more than the last one!

    In the beginning of the book we meet Ven, Olive and Roz. Three women that are complete opposites but are the best of friends. I immediately loved Olive and Ven but found myself disliking Roz. The story was so easy to pick up and I found myself immersed in the women¡¦s lives. Olive¡¦s lazy husband and hideous mother in law made for funny reading and Roz¡¦s husband Manus I adored, and immediately this made me dislike Roz even more.

    When the Olive and Roz are surprised by Ven with a trip of a lifetime, both of them are pretty surprised. Their dream of taking a cruise before they hit forty seems to finally be a reality. When Olive and Roz both agree, they are in for a shock when they realise that the forth member of their original gang from school is on the boat too.

    We meet Frankie later in the book but she was a brilliant character and it became apparent very early on that a lot of the issues were surrounding a past event. This made the book even more readable to have a major event affecting all the girls in different ways. By the end of the book, I loved all the women and the ending was absolute magic!

    The book itself literally made me feel like I was in the ladies suitcase. Having never been on a cruise, by the end of the book I felt like I needed to immediately go and book myself on one. This book encompasses everything I want in a chick lit book with the added bonus of the writing being effortless making it a joy to read. There is lost of love, tears and laughter as you join the ladies on a cruise that will literally change their lives. There was only one negative to this book (I know this is ridiculous but¡K) every time I picked it up I couldn¡¦t stop humming that irritating theme tune from the advert on the TV !

    I was surprised that this book was so good, and I don¡¦t mean that badly. I expected it to be good; I just didn¡¦t expect it to be brilliant. However, brilliant is the perfect word for it. An absolute must have for a beach read! Roll on with the next MJ book!

  3. Katia Lief Hide and SeekMy Rating: 3/5

    This book drew my interest with both the title and the cover. It looked intriguing enough and when I read the jacket details it sounded like just my cup of tea. As I normally do before I read an author I have not read before I checked out Katia Lief online. Some people may get confused reading her books and I can see why.

    Katia Lief was born Katia Spiegelman and following on from her career in publishing she wrote and released two novels. Shortly after that she used the name Kate Pepper who started writing thrillers of which she wrote 4. Once married (I'm assuming) she moved to her current married name of Katia Lief. It seems (from Katia's website) that she has written 8 stand alone novels, one of which is a young adult novel. In addition to that she has written two books in the Karin Schaeffer series, with a third due for release in 2012.

    To add to the already confusing list of things Katia has done, some of her books have different tiles both in the US and the UK. Once I had confused myself sufficiently, I figured I should just read the book and see if I liked it.

    The book itself was not too big and to be honest I was glad of that. I am getting far too used to reading my nice light Kindle. The story focuses on Karin Schaeffer and we see her and her husband Mac along with their young son Ben leading a reasonably normal life. As both of them have had careers with the police, they are certainly used to the harsh realities of life. However when Mac's parents are murdered, and Mac's brother is taken into custody for the crime, things turn ugly.

    Karin and Mac were likeable characters and it doesn't take long for the story to hot up. Pretty soon, Mac disappears and is presumed dead, only Karin is convinced otherwise; she just needs to prove it.

    The story was pretty well paced all the way through and there is certainly no shortage of twists and turns as Karin goes all out to find her husband and unravel whatever it is that he's involved in. On the plus side, as the books has a pretty good writing style with short and sharp chapters, it tends to keep your interest. However, although it was an easy enough book to read, it seemed rather hurried and at times a little too easy (if that makes sense).

    I think that this is the sort of book that people can read just to pass the time, but there are too many predictable parts to the book that I almost knew what was on the next page. The ending was also pretty hurried which made it feel rather rushed. I certainly enjoyed the book and it didn't take long to read. However, although I wouldn't turn down another Katia LIef book, I certainly won't be rushing out to buy the next one.

  4. Harriet EVans Happily Ever AfterMy Rating: 3/5

    I read a book by Harriet Evans earlier in the year and thoroughly enjoyed it. I was looking forward to reading her latest book but wasn't prepared for the bumper book that landed on my doorstep. At 420 pages it's certainly a hefty book but that didn't put me off at all.

    The book starts off early in Elle's life when she was a young girl and then quickly moves to her starting out her working life doing the one thing she loves; books! Elle is a character that if I am being honest I didn't warm to straight away. Her life is made so complicate by her incessant need to worry about everything. She comes across as a very naïve girl trying to make her way amongst the other more glamorous women working in publishing.

    Her boss Rory was also a character that I didn't particularly like, although that didn't change throughout the book. The story was interesting and Harriet Evans writing style is very easy to read. However, the first part of the book was set in 1997 and then there was a jump to a few years later as we literally see Elle grow up.

    As each section of the book takes us to a point further in Elle's life, I admit I liked her a little more, but her life itself left a lot to be desired. Some of the other characters in the book stuck around for longer than others but only one or two stuck out for me. Elle's friend Tom was a nice guy, as was Sam her flatmate, but the rest just didn't sit well with me.

    The further into the book I got the more I enjoyed it, but towards the end which took place in 2008 over ten years later I felt like the story hadn't quite taken the turn I expected. The story held interest for me, and I actually liked the fact that we see Elle grow up but by the time I finished I wasn't quite sure how I felt. Did I enjoy it? Yes. Would I read more of Harriet Evans books? Yes, definitely? Well then why was I still unsure? That I don't actually know, but can only say that maybe I felt something was missing. Overall a good read but certainly not a favourite for me.

  5. Harlan Coben Gone For Good
    My Rating: 4/5

     I have read one of Harlan Coben's stand alone novels, albeit some time ago, and am slowly working my way through his back catalogue. In this book we meet Will Klein and I found that it didn't take long for me to like him. What also became apparent pretty quickly was that Will Klein is an ordinary bloke. He isn't somebody who can ruthlessly take down bad guys and he isn't a brooding lead character that has an issue with authority. In other words, a welcome change from the ordinary leading male cop type character!

    The story itself is quite interesting and before long you realise that the disappearance of Will's girlfriend is far from ordinary. There is also the added plot thread that includes the disappearance of Wills brother who is trhe main suspect in the murder of Julie Miller 11 years prior.

    One of the things that really struck me with the Myron Bolitar series of books was the great characters, this book was no different. Will Klein's friend Squares is a brilliant added character and I found that I would have like to have actually seen more of him in the book. Even with that as a negative this book was still an absolutely brilliant read.

    Towards the end I found myself reading even quicker and I must say that the last few chapters had many twists and surprises in store which I absolutely loved. All in all it was another winner from Harlan Coben.

  6. Karen Swan Prima DonnaMy Rating: 5/5

    Well, well, well. Just what a fool I have been, as this book has been on my to read pile for an age and I was silly to have not picked it up sooner. I don't know why, it looks like quite a hefty read and if I'm honest, reading the synopsis, the world of the ballerina didn't quite seem `me'. Well, I am certainly paying for that mistake now! I have already ordered Karen Swan's other two books and am looking forward to reading them.

    Karen Swan's debut novel entitled Players was released in 2010 and her follow up Prima Donna in 2011. I think you could say her genre was more Bonkbuster than Chick Lit and her front cover of this book certainly didn't do the book justice.

    We meet Pia Soto who is a world class ballerina and the sort of character you just love to hate. She is spoiled, wealthy, and a complete pain to work with. Her assistant Sophie is the plain but talented Irish PA to the star and her polar opposite.

    When a tragedy occurs neither of them realise the extent their lives will change. Enter Will Silk, the smooth and very manipulative man who is determined to win over the famous Pia Soto. Will Silk was also another character I loved to loathe but these people were so absorbing that I literally couldn't put the book down.

    The story itself moves along at a brilliant pace with lots of drama and many other characters coming into play. The story is also taken to different parts of the world as each character deals with their own situation. At around the halfway mark things really start to hot up and I found that I read the second half of the book in one sitting.

    The added bonus for me was the rather big plot twist towards the end (which I didn't see coming) and the fact that I really did grow to like Pia by the end of the story. All in all I was shocked by just how absorbing this book was and I cannot recommend it highly enough. First class read!

  7. Karen Rose Im Watching YouMy Rating: 3/5

    One thing that tends to irritate me is people that read a book and then complain about the content, it's either too romantic, or doesn't have enough. Karen Rose writes romantic suspense, the giveaway is in the description! Having read most of Karen's books, there are still a couple I haven't got around to reading and this was one of them.

    It doesn't take long to get down to the nitty gritty of the crux of the story. We are introduced to Kristen Mayhew who has a chance meeting with Abe Reagan in a car park and discovers a gruesome find in the boot of her car. It becomes apparent pretty early on that this killer is intent of proving himself and Kristen is right in the middle of it.

    The characters are easy to get to grips with and Kristen, although pretty tightly sprung was quite vulnerable and likeable early on. Abe Reagan was another matter, but after another few chapters I began to understand his background and warmed to him too.

    The story was quite gripping and we see the killers' perspective as he plots his next murder. However, having read most of her newer stuff, coming back to her second published book there was a marked difference. Karen Rose most definitely has some serious talent. However, I realised at the halfway point that my interest was leaning more towards the romantic side of the book; certainly not what I am used to when reading this sort of thing. I think that on reflection, in the early days the balance wasn't quite there and in more recent books the balance is just right.

    Having said all of that the book was definitely a page turner and kept me reading until the very end. I liked the fact that were a few plot twists and to be perfectly honest I thought the romantic side was brilliant (just not everybody's cup of tea). The additional characters such as Mia (Abe's partner) and the Reagan family added some much needed interest to the story as we see the interactions with everybody change. I especially liked the progression of Mia and Abe as partners and thought she was a great supporting character. This certainly wasn't Karen Rose's best work, but is definitely still a page turner and an enjoyable read.