Posts Categorized: Paperback

Book Review – Wanna Get Lucky? (Lucky O’Toole #1) by Deborah Coonts

January 27, 2012 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2012 2 Comments

I received this book free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review – Wanna Get Lucky? (Lucky O’Toole #1) by Deborah CoontsWanna Get Lucky? by Deborah Coonts
Series: Lucky O'Toole #1
Published by Forge Books on February 1st 2011
Pages: 464
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Mystery-Contemporary
Format: Paperback
Source: the Publisher
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: Lucky Stiff, Lucky Bastard

four-half-stars

A young woman plunges from a Las Vegas sightseeing helicopter, landing in the Pirate’s lagoon in front of the Treasure Island Hotel in the middle of the 8:30 Pirate Show. Almost everyone writes her off as another Vegas victim.

But Lucky O’Toole smells a rat. She’s head of Customer Relations at The Babylon, the newest, most opulent mega-casino and resort on the Strip, so she’s got a lot on her plate: the Adult Film industry’s annual awards banquet, a spouse-swapping convention, sex toy purveyors preying on the pocket-protector crowd attending ElectroniCon…. Still, Lucky can’t resist turning over a few stones.

When a former flame is one of the snakes she uncovers, Lucky’s certain she’s no longer dealing with an anonymous Sin City suicide. To top it all off, Lucky’s best friend Teddie—Las Vegas’ finest female impersonator—presses to take their relationship to the next level. Leave it to Lucky to attract a man who looks better in a dress than she does.

Lucky must manage the Babylon’s onslaught of outrageous festivities, solve a murder, and struggle to keep her life and libido from spinning out of control… not to mention keep her balance in six inch heels.

Lucky O’Toole is head of Customer Relations at the Babylon; Las Vegas’ newest and largest ‘mega-casino’. Her job title may be simple but her job is far from it as she’s responsible for any problems and for making sure that all casino operations runs smoothly. When a woman falls to her death from a Babylon helicopter and it doesn’t look like a suicide, it’s Lucky’s job to get a handle on the situation so that the situation doesn’t tarnish the Babylon name.

This book sat on my shelf for a shamefully long time… I finally decided to pick it up when I was in the mood for some simple good fun. I sure got that with ‘Wanna Get Lucky?’ but I got so much more on top of that. I went into this mentally comparing it to a Janet Evanovich novel but I ended up being blown away by how much better it was and how much I enjoyed it. A fun mystery, an authentic romance, and strong likeable characters… this book had it all for me.

I love a good mystery, and this one entertaining and exciting. I loved how there were so many facets to the mystery and how each smaller story eventually tied in to the ‘bigger picture’. The end result may have been slightly inevitable but I give the author major points for still managing to make it exciting with each step of the way.

I think it’s a requirement that there be a secondary character that’s hilarious and cusses a lot. In this series, that would be her pet parrot, Newton. He wasn’t a major part of the story but the few scenes he was in were memorable enough.

The elevator deposited me in the middle of my living room.
“Where you been, bitch?”
God, I’d forgotten about the bird. My one foray into pet ownership and it had to be a belligerent macaw with a foul mouth.

Lucky was a wonderful character that I loved from the start. Charming, witty, and independent (and no that didn’t change with the introduction of a love interest!) she was my kind of girl. She was just a normal badass; she didn’t have super powers or even an awesome weapon, she managed to still be able to hold her own and take care of business. I look forward to reading more in this series… it has huge potential and I’m really excited to see where the author takes it!

Divider

Book Review – The Pleasure of Your Kiss (Burke Brothers #1) by Teresa Medeiros

January 17, 2012 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011 1 Comment

I received this book free from Book Tour, the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review – The Pleasure of Your Kiss (Burke Brothers #1) by Teresa MedeirosThe Pleasure of Your Kiss by Teresa Medeiros
Series: Burke Brothers #1
Published by Pocket Star on December 27, 2011
Pages: 528
Genres: Historical Romance
Format: Paperback
Source: Book Tour, the Publisher
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: Nobody's Darling

five-stars

Ashton Burke is a legendary adventurer who has spent the past ten years roaming the globe to forget the girl he left behind. His devil-may-care life is interrupted when he's hired to rescue his brother's kidnapped fiancée from a sultan's harem. Too late, he discovers she is none other than Clarinda Cardew, the very same girl who made off with his jaded heart a decade ago.

The last thing Clarinda wants is to be trapped in a palace of sensual delights with the man whose irresistible kisses still haunt her sleepless nights. Although he vows he is only doing his job, Clarinda quickly realizes that allowing Ashton to rescue her may put her yearning heart in even greater peril. In a journey that takes them from the delicious intrigues of a sultan's court to the glittering ballrooms of London, Ashton and Clarinda resume the steps of their dangerous dance only to discover the most seductive pleasure of all may be love itself.

I read this a few weeks back but I decided to take some time to sort my thoughts so that this may actually make some sense rather than having me come across as some crazed silly lunatic fan-girl.

The Storyline
Clarinda and Ashton were childhood friends but as the years progressed, so did their feelings for each other. One night, Ashton sets out to leave his home and Clarinda behind but she catches him in a nearby meadow and the feelings that they had kept restrained for so long were finally let loose.

’…the spark of animosity between them had finally flared into something so combustible it had threatened to incinerate them both.’

Ashton inevitably still leaves her behind and Clarinda is heartbroken beyond all reason. As time passes and stories of Ashton are heard at home, it becomes apparent to Clarinda that he’s not coming back for her so she becomes engaged to his brother, Max. Clarinda and her best friend Poppy set sail to meet up with Max for their wedding when their ship is boarded and the two women are captured by the Corsairs. Fearing the worst, the two end up being bought by the sultan Farouk and they are taken to his palace in the desert as his ‘guests’. Despite the fact that he is incredibly kind to both of them, they are still not allowed to leave. Max hires his brother Ashton to rescue Clarinda from the sultan not knowing the position he’s putting Ashton and Clarinda both in.

Thoughts
Teresa Medeiros books were the first romance books I ever read and inevitably got me hooked from that point on. I have yet to be disappointed by her; her books never lack in originality and are always entertaining. Considering this is a 500+ book I think that says a lot for her writing. I loved the exotic Middle East setting and that the majority of the storyline was spent there.

Her characters are always vibrant and full of life. You couldn’t help but love Ashton, even though there were times that you really wanted to hate him. It was painfully obvious how much Ashton and Clarinda cared for each other but he was a fool and left her and never returned.

’No matter how much it galled him, Clarinda belonged to his brother now. He had promised to return her to Max, and that was exactly what he was going to do. With any luck, Max would never find out what had transpired between Ash and Max’s bride-to-be in the meadow that morning.’

On top of loving the main characters, her secondary characters were just as fabulous. Poppy was definitely my favorite character and I loved not only the friendship between her and Clarinda but her infatuation with Farouk (and vice-versa!) was simply adorable.

If you enjoy romance novels, this one definitely needs to be on your list. You’ll laugh, you’ll swoon, and you may even shed a tear. (I know I did!) There was a sneak peek at the end of the next book in this series (yes! A series! yay!) featuring Max. I can’t wait. 😀

Divider

Short Story Review – The Driver’s Seat by Muriel Spark

December 24, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011, Short Stories 0 Comments

Short Story Review – The Driver’s Seat by Muriel SparkThe Driver's Seat by Muriel Spark
Published by Penguin Classics on 1970
Pages: 128
Genres: Classics
Format: Paperback
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads


three-stars

Lise leaves her home in northern Europe for a holiday, but it is not rest and relaxation that she is looking for...

Driven to distraction by an office job, she leaves everything and flies south on holiday—in search of passionate adventure, the obsessional experience and sex. Infinity and eternity attend Lise's last terrible day in the unnamed southern city that is her final destination.

I had a really hard time at first getting a grasp of what this story was really about. Essentially, it’s about a peculiar woman named Lise who travels to a Southern European city, presumably Naples, to meet a supposed boyfriend. Once she arrives, all the men she meets she’s mentally judging them based upon whether they are ‘her type’ or not. It’s not till later in the story you realize she’s looking for a specific ‘type’ for a completely different reason than you may originally think. By the beginning of the third chapter, you’re already made aware of a shocking fact:

’She will be found tomorrow morning dead from multiple stab-wounds, her wrists bound with a silk scarf and her ankles bound with a man’s necktie, in the ground of an empty villa, in a park of the foreign city to which she is travelling on the flight now boarding at Gate 14.’

It’s tough not to become immediately enthralled in watching the rest of the story progress to find out how this could possibly have occurred.

There’s something incredibly strange about this woman but it’s never revealed what exactly is wrong with her or why she is the way she is. (But then again, many of the characters in this story are odd. Like Bill? And his ‘I haven’t had my daily orgasm. It’s an essential part of this particular variation of the diet, didn’t I tell you?’ Excuse me?!?) You catch a glimpse early on in the story of her mental instability when she proceeds to flip out on a sales woman who attempted to sell her a dress made of stain resistant material. She took this as a personal insult as if the sales woman was attempting to say that she was a messy eater.

“Do you think I spill things on my clothes?” the customer shrieks. “Do I look as if I don’t eat properly?”

Suffice it to say that was her first but not final moment of unpredictability. She’s a habitual liar and it’s quite shocking how easily the lies flow from her mouth. And she definitely found her type in the end.

“Will you feel a presence? Is that how you’ll know?”
“Not really a presence,” Lise says. The lack of an absence, that’s what it is. I know I’ll find it. I keep on making mistakes, though.”

Divider

Book Tour Review – Fury by Shirley Marr

December 4, 2011 Bonnie Book Reviews, Read in 2011, YA 6 Comments

Book Tour Review – Fury by Shirley MarrFury by Shirley Marr
Published by Black Dog Books on May 1st 2010
Pages: 280
Genres: Contemporary, Mystery
Format: Paperback
Source: Book Tour
Goodreads


four-half-stars

Let me tell you my story.
Not just the facts I know you want to hear.
If I’m going to tell you my story,
I’m telling it my way.

Strap yourself in...

Eliza Boans has everything.
A big house.
A great education.
A bright future.

So why is she sitting in a police station confessing to murder?

Thank you to the Midnight Garden for hosting this tour and giving me the opportunity to read this! I’ve been trying to that get my hands on for quite some time and I’m so glad that I was able to be a part of this blog tour.

’East Rivermoore built a wall to keep the world out. But what if the real danger came from within? Before the seven o’clock news started to call us monsters, I wondered whether deep inside I wanted myself to be one anyways.’

Storyline
Eliza Boans is a rich snob and spoiled brat… and she’ll be the first to agree with you. She leads a pampered life as the ‘leader’ of her group of friends and is given anything she could ever want by her rich but always absent mother. She’s just confessed to murder but isn’t regretful about it in the least… but did she actually do it?

’I reckon if you looked inside me you’d find a cabinet filled with cracked china dolls.’

Thoughts
This was a fabulous debut novel that I’m so glad I finally got the opportunity to read. I absolutely loved how this book was written. There’s this big mystery about the death of an unknown individual; the unknown individual that Eliza already admitted to killing. Snippets from the past are interspersed with current happenings and it was so exciting and thrilling I simply could not stop reading (I stayed up till 2am just to finish.)

The characters may not have been immediately likable (as they’re spoiled rich girls who say ‘like’ far too often) but if you look past their glossy exterior you realize that there’s more than meets the eye. Neil was my favorite character. According to Shirley Marr herself, Neil was originally meant to be a minor character but ended up becoming more. Fabulous decision, he was a great addition to the storyline.

I loved the hilarious names given to the characters and the multiple references to popular classics and especially to Jane Austen characters. (Jane Ayre, When the story fully came together and all was revealed, I was pleasantly surprised by the ending that I didn’t see coming. Heartbreaking though; I admit I shed a tear or two. The ending was left a bit frayed at the edges with all questions not given straight-forward answers. Whether this was meant to be left up to interpretation or whatnot, I would have liked to know what ending up happening with the girls.

This novel may be extremely hard to get a hold of, but I would highly recommend doing so regardless. It was well worth it and I simply cannot wait to read future novels by Miss Marr!!

Divider

Book Review – Perfume: The Story of a Murderer by Patrick Süskind

August 9, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011 1 Comment

Book Review – Perfume: The Story of a Murderer by Patrick SüskindPerfume: The Story of a Murderer by Patrick Süskind
Published by Penguin Books on September 12, 1986
Pages: 272
Genres: Classics, Horror, Literary Fiction
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: The Pigeon

five-stars

The year is 1738; the place, Paris. A baby is born under a fish-monger’s bloody table in a marketplace, and abandoned. Orphaned, passed over to the monks as a charity case, already there is something in the aura of the tiny infant that is unsettling. No one will look after him; he is somehow too demanding, and, even more disturbing, something is missing: as his wet nurse tries to explain, he doesn’t smell the way a baby should smell; indeed, he has no scent at all.

Slowly, as we watch Jean-Baptiste Grenouille cling stubbornly to life, we begin to realize that a monster is growing before our eyes. With mounting unease, yet hypnotized, we see him explore his powers and their effect on the world around him. For this dark and sinister boy who has no smell himself possesses an absolute sense of smell, and with it he can read the world to discover the hidden truths that elude ordinary men. He can smell the very composition of objects, and their history, and where they have been, he has no need of the light, and darkness is not dark to him, because nothing can mask the odors of the universe.

As he leaves childhood behind and comes to understand his terrible uniqueness, his obsession becomes the quest to identify, and then to isolate, the most perfect scent of all, the scent of life itself.

At first, he hones his powers, learning the ancient arts of perfume-making until the exquisite fragrances he creates are the rage of Paris, and indeed Europe. Then, secure in his mastery of these means to an end, he withdraws into a strange and agonized solitude, waiting, dreaming, until the morning when he wakes, ready to embark on his monstrous quest: to find and extract from the most perfect living creatures—the most beautiful young virgins in the land— that ultimate perfume which alone can make him, too, fully human. As his trail leads him, at an ever-quickening pace, from his savage exile to the heart of the country and then back to Paris, we are caught up in a rising storm of terror and mortal sensual conquest until the frenzy of his final triumph explodes in all its horrifying consequences.

Told with dazzling narrative brilliance and the haunting power of a grown-up fairy tale, Perfume is one of the most remarkable novels of the last fifty years.

‘Perfume’ tells the story of Jean-Baptiste Grenouille a boy who grew up on the streets of Paris. Jean-Baptiste was no ordinary boy, he had a gift… a sense of smell that could not be rivaled. Naturally he found his niche by becoming an apprentice to a master perfumer who teaches him the art of making perfume. He excelled at this and people were scrambling to buy his product. As he branched out and started searching for new scents to include in his perfumes, his fascination with trying to find the “ultimate perfume” takes a morbid turn when he finds that ultimate scent is coming from a beautiful woman, and he has to capture it by any means necessary.

I picked this book up on a whim at a used bookstore one day simply thinking that I’d like to read something different for a change. ‘Perfume’ managed to root itself so deep in my mind that I still remember this novel in vivid detail to this day; I must have read it at least ten years ago. The story is disturbing in so many ways yet so unbelievably brilliant and fascinating that you can’t help but be enthralled.

The novel is extremely graphic at times but that’s what really makes the story. Highly recommended, I love this novel it’s one of my absolute favorites.

Divider

Book Review – Don’t Breathe a Word by Jennifer McMahon

July 23, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011 1 Comment

I received this book free from Goodreads First Reads in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review – Don’t Breathe a Word by Jennifer McMahonDon't Breathe a Word by Jennifer McMahon
Published by William Morrow on May 17, 2011
Pages: 464
Genres: Contemporary, Fantasy, Mystery
Format: Paperback
Source: Goodreads First Reads
Amazon
Goodreads


two-stars

On a soft summer night in Vermont, twelve-year-old Lisa went into the woods behind her house and never came out again. Before she disappeared, she told her little brother, Sam, about a door that led to a magical place where she would meet the King of the Fairies and become his queen.

Fifteen years later, Phoebe is in love with Sam, a practical, sensible man who doesn’t fear the dark and doesn’t have bad dreams—who, in fact, helps Phoebe ignore her own. But suddenly the couple is faced with a series of eerie, unexplained occurrences that challenge Sam’s hardheaded, realistic view of the world. As they question their reality, a terrible promise Sam made years ago is revealed—a promise that could destroy them all.

Okay first off? The summary of this book does not even begin to prepare you for the weird ass, beyond twisted little journey that the author takes you on. I spent the majority of this book so mixed up with trying to determine exactly what the hell was going on.

Bottom line? This book was one big:

Yep. That’s me. Reading this book. In utter confusion.

Now that’s not to say that this was bad of course; I really enjoyed reading this. The first ¾ at least. The author clearly knows how to write a fabulous mystery that grabs you by the shoulders, shakes you, and demands that you continue reading because you just need to know! I also loved how the author would switch back and forth from writing about the past and then to the present. It really kept you on the edge of your seat when every end to a chapter was its own little cliffhanger.

But…

Yes. The inevitable ‘but’. But then the ending happened. If you can even call it that. It really fell apart at the end. Plus there seemed to be a few questions that were raised that weren’t exactly answered. Not sure if the reader is expected to come up with their own or if the author is anticipating writing a sequel? Either way the ending had me pretty repulsed.

But here are a few lessons I learned from this book:
1. Do not feed the fairies.
2. Making promises to fairies? NOT recommended.
3. Fairies do not look like Tinkerbell. Fairies are damn scary.
4. Make sure to pile immense amounts of shit under your bed.
5. That movement out of the corner of your eye? Yep. You guessed it. It’s a fairy.
6. Do not ask to play with the fairies.
7. And last of all? Whatever you thought was going on? You’re probably way off target.

Divider

Book Review – First Grave on the Right (Charley Davidson #1) by Darynda Jones

July 16, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011 8 Comments

Book Review – First Grave on the Right (Charley Davidson #1) by Darynda JonesFirst Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones
Series: Charley Davidson #1
Published by St. Martin's Press on February 1, 2011
Pages: 336
Genres: Funny-ha-ha, Urban Fantasy
Format: Paperback
Source: a Giveaway
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: For I Have Sinned, Second Grave on the Left, Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet

five-stars

First Grave on the Right is the smashing, award-winning debut novel that introduces Charley Davidson: part-time private investigator and full-time Grim Reaper.

Charley sees dead people. That's right, she sees dead people. And it's her job to convince them to "go into the light." But when these very dead people have died under less than ideal circumstances (i.e., murder), sometimes they want Charley to bring the bad guys to justice. Complicating matters are the intensely hot dreams she's been having about an Entity who has been following her all her life...and it turns out he might not be dead after all. In fact, he might be something else entirely.

This is a thrilling debut novel from Darynda Jones, an exciting newcomer to the world of paranormal romantic suspense.

Charley is a grim reaper. Or THE grim reaper. She is the portal that allows the deceased to pass through to the other side. Charley is also a private investigator and in addition to helping the deceased pass through to the other side she also helps them tie up loose ends whether it be passing on a final message to a loved one or solving the mystery of who murdered them. Plus, Charley is hilarious. She’s this super snarky and fabulously funny chick. She also has a mysteriously handsome supernatural stalker named Reyes Farrow. He’s certainly something. 🙂

This book had me rolling with laughter, so if you’re in that kinda mood, this is so the book for you. I had to stop myself from doing about a gazillion status updates just to share my favorite quotes; so instead, you get some of my favorites in my review!

“What twirly nugget are you from?” (Okay this one is taken out of context, so it might not make sense, but just on principle it’s funny!)

Because my apartment was roughly the size of a Cheez-It, it didn’t take me long to feel my way to the kitchen in the dark.

Maybe if I hovered over the pot, it would develop an inferiority complex and brew faster just to prove it could.

• “So, then, what are you?” I wondered if your worst nightmare would sound silly.

“You rented the apartment with a dead guy in the corner?” I shrugged. “I wanted the apartment, and I figured I could cover him up with a bookcase or something.

Okay, so here I am stopping myself again. Because those were my favorite lines from like… half of the first chapter. I’m writing a review here not a novel. Suffice it to say, I loved this book!

I don’t recall having ever read a novel about a grim reaper before, so I don’t actually have something to compare it to, which is nice. When I first read the summary of this book it made me think of the HBO series ‘Dead Like Me’ which I was a super big fan of. The lead characters are both girls, both grim reapers, bot hilarious, and they both have boy names. (George and Charley). Hmm… just realized that. Anyways!

Darynda Jones wrote a fabulous story, it was extremely intriguing, had me laughing inappropriately at work for two days straight, and I absolutely CANNOT wait for the second book.

Divider

Short and Sweet Review – Wesley the Owl: The Remarkable Love Story of an Owl and His Girl by Stacey O’Brien

July 16, 2011 Bonnie Book Reviews, Read in 2011 3 Comments

Short and Sweet Review – Wesley the Owl: The Remarkable Love Story of an Owl and His Girl by Stacey O’BrienWesley the Owl: The Remarkable Love Story of an Owl and His Girl by Stacey O'Brien
Published by Atria Books on June 2nd 2009
Pages: 256
Genres: Memoir, Non-Fiction
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
Amazon
Goodreads


five-stars

On Valentine’s Day 1985, biologist Stacey O’Brien adopted Wesley, a baby barn owl with an injured wing who could not have survived in the wild. Over the next nineteen years, O’Brien studied Wesley’s strange habits with both a tender heart and a scientist’s eye—and provided a mice-only diet that required her to buy the rodents in bulk (28,000 over the owl’s lifetime). She watched him turn from a helpless fluff ball into an avid com­municator with whom she developed a language all their own. Eventually he became a gorgeous, gold-and-white macho adult with a heart-shaped face who preened in the mir­ror and objected to visits by any other males to “his” house. O’Brien also brings us inside Caltech’s prestigious research community, a kind of scientific Hogwarts where resident owls sometimes flew freely from office to office and eccentric, brilliant scientists were extraordinarily committed to studying and helping animals; all of them were changed by the animals they loved. As O’Brien gets close to Wesley, she makes astonishing discoveries about owl behavior, intelligence, and communication, coining the term “The Way of the Owl” to describe his noble behavior. When O’Brien develops her own life-threatening ill­ness, the biologist who saved the life of a helpless baby bird is herself rescued from death by the insistent love and courage of this wild animal.

Enhanced by wonderful photographs, Wesley the Owl is a thoroughly engaging, heart­warming, often funny story of a complex, emotional, non-human being capable of reason, play, and, most important, love and loyalty. Translated into eight languages and named an Audubon Magazine Editor’s Choice, Wesley the Owl is sure to be cherished by animal lovers everywhere.

Wesley the Owl: the story of biologist Stacey O’Brien and her adoption of a 4 day old baby barn owl. The book is a retelling of the 19 years spent caring and loving for this animal and of the love and bond the two of them shared.

‘Life your life not by staying in the shallow, safer waters, but by wading as deep into the river of life as possible, no matter how dangerous the current. We have only one chance at this life.’

I have this abnormally large soft spot in my heart for animals and this novel really did a number on that spot. Going into this book I understood the story line and as it can be expected this also included the retelling of Wesley’s final days. The bond that this woman shared with Wesley was so amazing and touching and heartbreaking in the end. I was in tears. This may not have been a novel of literary genius, but the story and the message was beautiful.

Divider