May 30, 2010

Obsession, Deceit, and Really Dark Chocolate (Sophie Katz, Bk 3) by Kyra Davis

Obsession, Deceit and Really Dark Chocolate
Author:  Kyra Davis
Publisher:  Red Dress Ink
Paperback, 400 pages

From Goodreads:

Sophie Katz's relationship with the irresistible and occasionally insufferable P.I. Anatoly Darinsky is on the fritz when a friend recruits Sophie's investigation skills to decode her possibly two-timing husband's strange behavior. When Sophie shows up in a short, red cocktail dress and her friend's hubby winds up dead, the loveable would-be sleuth can't help but take on the job.

Suddenly plunged into a crazy world of campaign mudslinging, dirt-digging and cover-ups, Sophie begins to uncover some pretty dirty secrets indeed— involving a conservative congressional hopeful's involvement in the Furry community, a group of people who dress up in mascot-size stuffed animal costumes. Sex and politics, wouldn't you know?

Way in over her head as usual, Sophie reluctantly—or not-so-reluctantly— enlists the help of her two-time sidekick and ex—Anatoly. Together they set out to determine who killed Eugene and why, and in the process can't resist falling for each other—again?

As most know I’m a huge fan of Kyra Davis, and her writing, that being said, I really liked Obsession, Deceit, and Really Dark Chocolate. I didn’t love it, though. It is my least favorite out of the first three in the Sophie Katz series, but I adore the character of Sophie Katz, and I zipped through this easily.

Obsession, Deceit, and Really Dark Chocolate has again Sophie Katz in the middle of a murder mystery. When Sophie’s mentor ask her for a favor she has no idea that it will entangle her in the murder of her mentor's husband. The reason I only like this book, and not LOVE it was the mystery part. It all seem farfetched the way it all connected in the end. I just wasn’t buying the motive, and I kind of lost interest in who done it about half way through. Of course, it was no problem continuing reading, because as I mentioned before these books are funny. The one liners are plentiful, and hilarious. The quirky characters are fun.  I so want to be part of that clique.  I love the interaction between Anatoly and Sophie.  Their connection is based on physical attraction, and one-upping each other.

I really can’t say enough about this series, and the writing of Kyra Davis.  If you haven’t given these a try, you really must. You will not be disappointed.  The first book in the series is Sex, Murder and a Double it!

Rating: 4

May 28, 2010

Blogger Hop

This is my first Blogger Hop..YEAH! 
Blogger Hop is a weekly blog hop hosted by Jennifer at Crazy for Books.  Just follow the link over to Crazy for Books and join in on the hop!  I'm looking forward to exploring all the great blogs out there.

Since this is my first time doing the hop, let me tell you a little about what goes on here at Coffee Books and Laundry.  Mostly what you will find here is reviews, I really don't participate in meme's, though I don't rule them out.  I review mostly contemporary Fiction and YA, but I read many genres, so I have a little of everything.  Occasionally, my DH joins in and does a review or two.  He actually just reviewed The Lost Symbol so check that out.  He's new to the reviewing thing, don't be too rough on him (he asked me to add that part).

I just finished reading Obsession, Deceit, and Really Dark Chocolate by Kyra Davis.  A review will be up soon on it.  I enjoyed so it will be a postive one. 
I also went book shopping tonight.  Visited Barnes and Noble, and Half Price Book Store, and came back with a total of 12 books. much for my book buying ban! 

Everyone have a great Friday!

The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown

The Lost Symbol
Author: Dan Brown
Publisher: Doubleday Books
Released:  September 15th 2009
Hardback, 509 pages

From Amazon:

The Lost Symbol begins with an ancient ritual, a shadowy enclave, and of course, a secret. Readers know they are in Dan Brown territory when, by the end of the first chapter, a secret within a secret is revealed. To tell too much would ruin the fun of reading this delicious thriller, so you will find no spoilers here. Suffice it to say that as with many series featuring a recurring character, there is a bit of a formula at work (one that fans will love). Again, brilliant Harvard professor Robert Langdon finds himself in a predicament that requires his vast knowledge of symbology and superior problem-solving skills to save the day. The setting, unlike other Robert Langdon novels, is stateside, and in Brown's hands Washington D.C. is as fascinating as Paris or Vatican City (note to the D.C. tourism board: get your "Lost Symbol" tour in order). And, as with other Dan Brown books, the pace is relentless, the revelations many, and there is an endless parade of intriguing factoids that will make you feel like you are spending the afternoon with Robert Langdon and the guys from Mythbusters.


Reviewed by Jesse V.

This was one hell of a book! Dan Brown takes you on an adventure filled thrill ride through Washington D.C, his combination of history and fiction are so well weaved together, it’s just awesome! Robert Langdon get’s a unexpected phone call from a man who claims to be the assistant of his good friend and mentor Peter Solomon, asking him to speak at the U.S Capitol Building. Once he arrives at the Capitol Building it’s clear he wouldn’t be giving a speech that night, instead he is forced to find his friend Peter Solomon who has been viciously kidnapped by a devious and almost a inextinguishable pychopath. Hidden chambers in the basement of the U.S Capitol Building, Masonic riturals and secrets, art with hidden clues, resurrections, and a smart and sophisticated woman, what more can a guy ask for in a book. I really like that this book was well reaserched, from the art and it’s history to the role the Freemasions played in building our capitol. I don’t read or have read many books but this was the first book ever to really hold my interest from cover to cover, so for that…… Hell of a job Mr. Brown!

May 27, 2010

The Mark by Jen Nadol

The Mark
Author:  Jen Nadol
Publisher:  Bloomsbury

From Goodreads:

Cassandra Renfield has always seen the mark—a glow around certain people reminiscent of candlelight. But the one time she mentioned it, it was dismissed as a trick of the light. Until the day she watches a man awash in the mark die. After searching her memories, Cassie realizes she can see a person’s imminent death. Not how or where, only when: today.

Armed with a vague understanding of the light, Cassie begins to explore her “gift,” seeking those marked for death and probing the line between decision and destiny. Though she’s careful to hide her secret—even from her new philosophy-obsessed boyfriend—with each impending death comes the temptation to test fate. But so many questions remain. How does the mark work? Why is she the only one who sees it? And finally, the most important of all: If you know today is someone’s last, should you tell them?


The Mark was just a okay read for me. I loved the concept, it’s very unique, and so much could have been done with it, but overall I just felt the story was lacking.

As far back as Cassie can remember she would see a glow all around certain people. She never understood exactly what it meant, until slowly she started realizing that the glow meant that they were going to die within 24 hrs. After proving her theory right by following a man with the mark, and consequently seeing his death, she is stuck with the moral dilema of telling these people, or letting them go on with there day totally unaware that these are their last hours. I enjoyed this part of the story. It was the most interesting part of the story, and the most realistic. What would you do?

Cassie begins a relationship with the assistant teacher in her college class, and that’s where the story kinda fell flat for me. I understand that there is going to be a love interest, but what he brought to the story was what I wanted Cassie to come to on her own. Does that make sense? I never really felt her grow, but more poked and prodded to come to some realizations.

Overall, I thought The Mark was okay, but it’s definitely not a hit with me. I know many people love this book, so to each their own. The idea is great, and for that I would definitely say give it a try.

Rating: 3

Received from Around the World Tours for review

May 25, 2010

Passion Betrayal and Killer Highlights by Kyra Davis

Passion, Betrayal and Killer Highlights
Author:  Kyra Davis
Publisher:  Red Dress Ink
Hardcover, 352 pgs.

From Goodreads:

Considering the kind of disasters that usually befall the half-black, half-Jewish mystery writer, probably both. Because the last time Sophie saw sexy P.I. Anatoly Darinsky, he practically danced a jig when she waved goodbye—a normal reaction for a man who'd nearly bought the farm trying to protect her from her own foolishness. What are the chances he'd agree to take incriminating pictures of her sister's philandering husband? Or that he'd let her tag along—you know…for research?

But when her brother-in-law turns up dead and her sister becomes the prime suspect, Sophie's priority is finding the real killer. With or without Anatoly's help. Her brother-in-law's secret life yields plenty of suspects, but the San Francisco police aren't taking any of them seriously. So Sophie does what comes naturally to her: she stirs up trouble (to lure the killer out, of course).

But if her crazy plan works, will Anatoly be there to protect her this time?


It has been awhile since I read bk 1 in the Sophie Katz series by Kyra Davis, but the story quickly came back to me after reading a couple of chapters of Bk 2, Passion Betrayal and Killer Highlights. I forgot how much I enjoyed Sophie Katz, and the writing of Kyra Davis.

In Passion Betrayal and Killer Highlights the focus is on Sophie’s sister Leah, who is the prime suspect in her husband’s murder. Leah clearly has motive, since she had just recently found out thatBob was having a affair and leaving her for the other women, and let’s not forget the the all important fact that she is the one that finds him dead, and she has no alibi. Of course, there is no way Sophie is going to let the police pin bob’s murder on her sister. She hires the ever hot PI from bk 1, Anatoly.

Kyra Davis is a witty writer. The characters are fun, and the book is full with one liners that had me rolling. It’s been awhile since I laughed so much reading a book.

My favorite line in the book..

“ Let me make sure I’m interpreting this correctly. You cheated on your diet, gained a pound, and blame this on a self-diagnosed thyroid condition”

I couldn’t stop laughing after reading that line.

The mystery was awesome, I was kept on my toes throughout the whole book. I spent the whole book thinking I knew who did it, to be completely wrong. I’ve read many reviews that say that this is a cheap imitation of the Stephanie Plum series, so I guess I’m lucky that I’ve never read a Stephanie Plum book. I love this series, and I adore the characters.

Rating:  4.5

Email Changed

Just wanted to make aware that I've changed my email.  I would use my personal email for everything, and it was getting hard filtering book related emails with my personal stuff, so I thought it would be easier to just get a separate email account.

New Email



May 22, 2010

Prada and Prejudice by Mandy Hubbard

Prada and Prejudice
Author:  Mandy Hubbard
Publisher:  Razorbill
Paperback, 238 pages

From Goodreads:

To impress the popular girls on a high school trip to London, klutzy Callie buys real Prada heels. But trying them on, she trips…conks her head…and wakes up in the year 1815!

There Callie meets Emily, who takes her in, mistaking her for a long-lost friend. As she spends time with Emily’s family, Callie warms to them—particularly to Emily’s cousin Alex, a hottie and a duke, if a tad arrogant.

But can Callie save Emily from a dire engagement, and win Alex’s heart, before her time in the past is up?

More Cabot than Ibbotson, Prada and Prejudice is a high-concept romantic comedy about finding friendship and love in the past in order to have happiness in the present.


I really liked Prada and Prejudice, it was a fun quick read. There were a couple of things that didn’t make this a great read for me, but overall I enjoyed my time reading it.

“I’ve landed in Regency England: 90210. Just as much drama ; a lot less glamour.”

Overall, Prada and Prejudice was a joy to read. Callie is a teenage girl who is not so popular. On a school to England she’s all by herself and wants nothing more than to be part of the reigning girl clique. When she overhears them talking about sneaking out to go to a club she decides she will put herself out there and invite herself. She heads out by herself to find the perfect clothes, and makes a stop at a Prada store to buy the perfect pair of heels. After walking out of the store wearing her new red Prada heels, in true Callie form she takes a stumble and wakes up in Regency England, 1815. Lost in the countryside she comes upon a castle. There she is mistaken for a girl Rebecca, a friend of a young women staying in the castle, who should be arriving from America. Deciding her best bet for a roof over her head is to pretend to be Rebecca, she soon learns the castle belongs to the Duke of Harksbury, Alexander. In Jane Austen fashion, Callie and Alex bump heads.

I am a fan of time travel books, so I wasn’t surprised that I read this in one sitting. Callie is a good character. She’s not perfect, shes clumsy, and she desperately wants more. The Duke, Alex, is cut from the same mold as Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice, and I love Mr. Darcy. The ending of Prada and Prejudice left a lot of unanswered questions, and that’s something I hate immensely. Again, I have to ask what is the deal with these abrupt endings? We get into these stories just to be left saying “okay, wait a minute”. Big no- no for me!

Rating:  3.5

May 21, 2010

The Lies We Told by Diane Chamberlain

The Lies We Told
Author:  Diane Chamberlain
Publisher:  Mira
Paperback, 384 pgs.
Published May 25, 2010

From Goodreads:

Maya and Rebecca Ward are both accomplished physicians, but that's where the sisters' similarities end. As teenagers, they witnessed their parents' murder, but it was Rebecca who saved Maya from becoming another of the gunman's victims. The tragedy left Maya cautious and timid, settling for a sedate medical practice with her husband, Adam, while Rebecca became the risk taker.

After a devastating hurricane hits the coast of North Carolina, Rebecca and Adam urge Maya to join them in the relief effort. To please her husband, Maya finally agrees. She loses herself in the care and transport of victims, but when her helicopter crashes into raging floodwaters, there appear to be no survivors.

Forced to accept Maya is gone, Rebecca and Adam turn to one another—first for comfort, then in passion—unaware that, miles from civilization, Maya is injured and trapped with strangers she's not certain she can trust. Away from the sister who has always been there to save her, now Maya must find the courage to save herself—unaware that the life she knew has changed forever.


The Lies We Told is a really good book. It’s the story of two sisters, completely different yet close due to the murder of their parents when they were younger.

Maya and Rebecca are both doctors, yet in totally different realms. Rebecca, the older sister, who took guardianship over Maya when there parents were murdered is a adventure seeking, independent person, who seems somewhat cold. She’s a doctor for DIDA, which is a non profit organization that goes around the world where they are needed when disasters happen. Maya is timid, and co-dependent, and constantly scared and works in safety of a hospital. Maya has been trying to have a baby with her husband Adam, and the wear and tear of concieving and losing babies is taking it’s toll on them, and their marriage. When a storm hits the U.S Coast both Rebecca and Adam leave with DIDA to help out. With the disaster area out of control, Adam calls Maya to come and help. Maya being afraid of anything outside the norm is hesitant to go, but knowing that going will make Adam happy she decides to go. While there Maya is sent on a helicopter to help the transporting of a patients that are seriously injured to a local hospital, when it crashes. Soon both Rebecca and Adam learn of the crash, and are devastated. After surviving the crash, Maya begins a journey of her own. She is stranded on an island with a couple that are backwoods. They prefer to live outside of the ongoing world, and prefer to be isolated. I really can’t say enough about this book. It kept me up all night reading, though I have to say the ending was unbelievable, but darn can Diane Chamberlain weave a story so mesmerizing that a bad ending takes nothing away from the story.

Throughout the story we learn bits and pieces about what happened that night their parents were murdered, slowly everything starts coming out. This was a really interesting part in the The Lies We Told, because the book starts off with the murder of their parents in a prologue. From the beginning we know the secrets will revolve around the murder.

Diane Chamberlain is quickly becoming a must read author for me. I’ve yet to read anything from her that I didn’t like. The Lies We Told does not disappoint.

Rating: 4.5

Received copy from publisher for honest review

May 17, 2010

It's Mini Reviews Time

That Summer

That Summer by Sarah Dessen

 I usually love Sarah Dessen’s books, but this is my least favorite. The story of Haven really never went anywhere. Haven’s dad just remarried, and her sister is getting married, Haven finds her life changing quicker than she’s ready. When her older sister’s ex boyfriend Sumner shows reappears, Haven is reminded of the perfect summer when her family was intact and Sumner was in their life. This one was a little to blah for me.

Rating: 2.5


Stupid and Contagious

Stupid and Contagious by Caprice Crane

A opposite attract those. Heaven and Brady are neighbors that don’t like each other, yet feel drawn to each other. Their interactions are cute, and scream sexual tension. I really liked this one. In no way was the story unique, but it was still cute.

Rating: 4


City of Glass (Mortal Instruments, #3)

City of Glass by Cassandra Clare

Third book in the Mortal Instruments series, and again another great one.  I love this series!  All the original characters are back, the action is good, and there is a lot of unraveling those secrets in this one.  I obviously don't want to give away any spoilers, but if you haven't read this series, you really must give them a try.  They are that awesome.

Rating: 4

Mommywood Contest Winner!

Sorry for the delay...okay the winner of Mommywood by Tori Spelling

Michelle (Red Headed Book Child)

I'll be sending a pm to you shortly.

48 hr rule applies

Thanks everyone for entering!

May 16, 2010

Sunday Salon

It's been a couple of weeks since I've posted a Sunday Salon, sadly though, I don't have much to report on.  I've been hearing so much about BEA, and darn it, I wish I was going.  I can't wait to read everyone's posts about it. It sounds like it's going to be a blast.  Not only all the authors and books you all are going to learn about but you all get to meet each other.  : (  I wanna hang out with ya'll!  Oh well...hopefully next time.

As I mentioned in my last Sunday Salon, me and the hubby went to the George/Reba concert in San Antonio.  Had so much fun.  I love King George, and Reba.

I'm happy to post that my sons relay team at playday won 1st place.  My son ran the third leg and took over 1st place to help his team take the win.

Showing his guns right after the win!

Okay, now on with the

I'm currently behind on my reviews, and I hate that, so I will be doing some mini-reviews.  Gotta love those mini reviews...they get me right back on track.

I also have a review of The Lies We Told by Diane Chamberlain coming up soon.  I loved this book, but I expected nothing less from Diane Chamberlain.  She is an awesome writer.  As for the review of The Lost Symbol, that's the DH fault.  He is suppose to review that for me, and he hasn't got around to doing it yet.  I think it's time for me to start nagging....hey, he said he would do it, now he has to put up!

I'm currently reading The Mark by Jen Nadol.  It's good so far, and it's short.  I should be finished by today.  After that I really need to focus on the Sophie Katz series by Kyra Davis.  I have the 5th book Vows, Vendettas, and a Little Black Dress to review, and I haven't read book 2, 3, or 4.  Luckily, I have all of them in my TBR, and they are quick reads.  So I'll be busy reading, reading, reading.  FUN!

Hope everyone has a great Sunday, and week ahead.

May 15, 2010

The Unwritten Rule by Elizabeth Scott

The Unwritten Rule
Author:  Elizabeth Scott
Publisher:  Simon Pulse
224 pages

From Goodreads

Everyone knows the unwritten rule: You don't like your best friend's boyfriend.

Sarah has had a crush on Ryan for years. He's easy to talk to, supersmart, and totally gets her. Lately it even seems like he's paying extra attention to her. Everything would be perfect except for two things: Ryan is Brianna's boyfriend, and Brianna is Sarah's best friend.

Sarah forces herself to avoid Ryan and tries to convince herself not to like him. She feels so guilty for wanting him, and the last thing she wants is to hurt her best friend. But when she's thrown together with Ryan one night, something happens. It's wonderful...and awful.

Sarah is torn apart by guilt, but what she feels is nothing short of addiction, and she can't stop herself from wanting more...


I was really excited about reading The Unwritten Rule especially since I’ve been seeing it all over the blogosphere. At 224 pages The Unwritten Rule was a really quick, enjoyable read.

The subject of the book is about the boundaries between best friends when it comes to boys. Sarah has had a crush on Ryan for long time, but Sarah's best friend Brianna is the one who ends up dating him.  Now of course we all know it’s not a good thing when you are crushing on one of your friends boyfriends, but the way Elizabeth Scott wrote the characters I actually didn’t feel bad for Brianna. I was rooting for Sarah to take Ryan away from Brianna throughout the whole book. My feelings about this came from my dislike of Brianna. In no way did I consider Brianna a real friend to Sarah. She was just a horrible person, using other people’s insecurities to make her feel better. We are given a background of Brianna, so we as readers kind of get an idea of why Brianna is the way she is, but it still didn’t make her likeable. I did like Sarah and Ryan, they were both unique characters in that they weren’t trying to be anything other than themselves, and that is quite a accomplishment during your teenage years.

Like I mentioned earlier, The Unwritten Rule is a short book, so it had somewhat of a rushed feeling to it. Everything seemed to come about and happen so quickly. I’m starting to believe that it’s becoming a trend in YA books. Could it be because they think young adults have short attention spans, which by the way I think is ridiculous. My daughter prefers really thick, fat books that she rarely picks up books that are short.

The Unwritten Rule is a decent book with some clear cut characters, you know who you should be rooting for.

Rating: 3.5

Thanks to Around The World Tours for the opportunity to review this book.

May 13, 2010

Oblivion Road by Alex McAulay

Oblivion Road
Alex McAulay
Publisher: MTV
Paperback, 304 pgs.

From Goodreads:

Courtney Stanton thinks she's on just another ski trip with her friends -- until a horrific car accident strands them all on an isolated Colorado road during a blizzard. Frightened but alive, Courtney and her companions discover an abandoned vehicle nearby, and seek help. But the vehicle turns out to be a prison van, with the inmates missing, and the guard's dead body in the front seat.

Soon after, a stumbling figure emerges from the snow, a handcuffed refugee from the van. He says he's been in prison for selling meth, but that he once served in the army. Dare they trust him? He pleads innocence about the guard's murder, warns them about the other fugitives, and promises he will help guide them out of the wilderness. But as the group begins a nightmare trek across the frozen landscape, they start to get the feeling he hasn't told them the entire truth, and someone -- or something -- is secretly watching their every move.


Wow! I didn’t quite know what to expect from Oblivion Road, but I know I wasn’t expecting what I got. It definitely caught me by surprise. This was without a doubt a edge of your seat kind of book.

Oblivion Road was an experience, I hadn’t read a book in awhile that had me wondering what could possibly happen next. It was a scary, cringeworthy read. I even found myself wincing at one time. Alright, so five teenagers are driving back home from a weekend at a cabin, deciding to take a shortcut they end up on a remote road when the car hits a deer. All five kids are hurt in some way, some more than others, and now they find themselves stuck out in the Colorado woods, in the middle of a snow storm. Needing medical attention, and with the fear of freezing to death, some of the kids decide to start walking to find help. What they find is a abandoned van with a body in it, and to make matters worse it is a prison transport van. Well, the craziness ensues soon after. I don’t want to give anything away, but I will say again that it scared the pants out of me. I’ve seen enough movies to never get off the main road! Hello people, Texas Chainsaw Massacre!

Oblivion Road is a book I would definitely recommend .  This was pure enjoyment of the “glad that ain’t me” kind.

Rating: 5

Received this book from Other Shelf Tours

May 11, 2010

Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles

Perfect Chemistry
Simone Elkeles
Walker Books for Young Readers
Paperback, 357 pages

When Brittany Ellis walks into chemistry class on the first day of senior year, she has no clue that her carefully created “perfect” life is about to unravel before her eyes. She’s forced to be lab partners with Alex Fuentes, a gang member from the other side of town, and he is about to threaten everything she's worked so hard for—her flawless reputation, her relationship with her boyfriend, and the secret that her home life is anything but perfect. Alex is a bad boy and he knows it. So when he makes a bet with his friends to lure Brittany into his life, he thinks nothing of it. But soon Alex realizes Brittany is a real person with real problems, and suddenly the bet he made in arrogance turns into something much more. In a passionate story about looking beneath the surface, Simone Elkeles breaks through the stereotypes and barriers that threaten to keep Brittany and Alex apart.


I’ve heard so many great things about Perfect Chemistry, so I was really excited when it arrived from Amazon. I couldn’t wait to open it up and get lost in the story of Alex and Brittany.

Perfect Chemistry is the story of Alex and Brittany, two teenagers with completely different backgrounds. Alex is a gang member from the wrong side of town. After watching his father get killed, he is now in charge of taking care of his family. Brittany comes from a well to do family, and has everything she could possibly want except the freedom to be who she wants. She always has to be perfect, and slowly starts to resent her parents, and her friends. When Brittany and Alex are paired together in Chemistry, the tension and dislike is mutual, but slowly as they start revealing the “real” parts of each other they find a common bond.

I did like Perfect Chemistry, but it isn’t a favorite of mine for a couple of reasons. My reasons are really not big deals, but to me they border on overwhelmingly annoying. First, I’d like to point out that I’m hispanic, and I think that the problems I do have with this book are a directly associated with that. The use of mamacita is all over this book, and I find the word, dorky. There are a lot of hispanic words to convey a cute, fine girl, but mamacita is probably the lamest of them all. Simone Elkeles was potraying Alex as a tough cute hot guy, but for me I wasn’t feeling it. I find Esai Morales a extremely good looking bad boy, but if he was to say mamacita to me, his appeal would suddenly drop to nothing. Another thing I disliked about Perfect Chemistry is the hispanic words dropped in a middle of a sentence. I understand Alex is mexican, but was it really necessary to drop a hispanic word in almost all the sentences. Okay, maybe it wasn’t in almost all of them, but it seemed like it was. I don’t read much of chica lit because of that very same thing. Why? Please latino authors, or authors that have latin characters do you have to do that. We get it they are latino, you don’t have to shove it down are throats. Okay, I feel better now.

Now I didn’t dislike the book as a whole because I loved the opposites attract storyline, and I loved the progress these characters made throughout the book. I do feel that Simone Elkeles potrayed the gang world in a somewhat realistic way, though I’m not sure, because I’ve never been in one, but it seemed realistic to me.

All in all, Perfect Chemistry was a good read with some annoying tendencies.

Rate: 3/5

May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

I would like to wish a very special Happy Mother's Day to my beautiful wife and wonderful mother Melissa. Our kid's,who also have a great love for reading, are who they are because of you, I thank you for being such a great loving and caring mom! To all the mothers that read and enjoy my wife's blog I wish you all a very Happy Mother's Day!

From Melissa's Husband and kids
(I could not have posted this without the help of my oldest daughter Jaci) 

May 6, 2010

The Birthday Ball by Lois Lowry

The Birthday Ball
By Lois Lowry
Publisher:  Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Hardcover, Pages 192

From Goodreads

Princess Patricia Priscilla is bored with her royal life and the excitement surrounding her sixteenth birthday ball. Doomed to endure courtship by three grotesquely unappealing noblemen, she escapes her fate—for a week. Disguised as a peasant, she attends the village school as the smart new girl, “Pat,” and attracts friends and the attention of the handsome school master. Disgusting suitors, loveable peasants, and the clueless King and Queen collide at the ball, where Princess Patricia Pricilla calls the shots. What began as a cure for boredom, becomes a chance for Princess Patricia Priscilla to break the rules and marry the man she loves.


The Birthday Ball is a really cute book aimed at a younger audience. It’s about a bored princess who is about to turn sixteen. On her Sixteenth Birthday she will be having a ball and will have to pick a suitor. A couple of days before her big ball she decides to disguise herself as a peasant and makes her way to the village school.

The Birthday Ball is very humorous, yet still turns out it’s lessons. It was somewhat predictable but I loved how she ended everything with a happily ever after. The really great thing that makes this book a gem is it’s hilarity. Princess Patricia Priscilla has to decide between three suitors (or is it four). The choices are Duke Desmond of Dyspepsia, who banned all mirrors in his domain, because he cannot stand looking at himself, yes he is that horrendous looking, he even manages to forget how ugly he is. Prince Percival of Pustula is the second choice, he needs to be surrounded by mirrors at all times, because he believes he is so wonderful, and beautiful, yet he has his own dandruff brusher (someone who brushes his dandruff off his shoulders every so often). Lastly, you have Lords Colin and Cuthbert the Conjoint, they are conjoint twins who like crude jokes, and fight often. Throughout the book you also have these really nice illustrations. The illustrations really added a great visual to the story. I loved seeing the Princess grow, and learn from her experience as a peasant.

The Birthday Ball is a great book. Though the target audience is for the young, adults can enjoy this as well…I did.

Rating: 4

Copy received for review by publisher

May 5, 2010

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest by Stieg Larsson

Contains spoilers if you haven't read the first two books.

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest
by Stieg Larsson
Publisher: Maclehose Press
Hardcover, 599 Pages

From Goodreads:

A young girl lies in a hospital room, her tattooed body very close to death -- there is a bullet lodged in her brain. Several rooms away is the man who tried to kill her, his own body grievously wounded from axe blows inflicted by the girl he has tried to kill. She is Lisbeth Salander, computer hacker and investigator, and the man is her father, a murderous Russian gangster. If Salander recovers from her injuries, she is more than likely to be put on trial for three murders -- the authorities regard her as a dangerous individual. But she won't see the inside of a courtroom if her father manages to kill her first.

This is the high-tension opening premise of the third book in Stieg Larsson’s phenomenally successful trilogy of crime novels which the late author (a crusading journalist) delivered to his publisher just before his death. But does it match up to its two electrifying predecessors, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and The Girl who Played with Fire? The success of Larsson’s remarkable sequence of books is, to some degree, unprecedented. Crime fiction in translation has, of course, made a mark before (notably with Peter Hoeg’s Miss Smilla’s Feeling for Snow, published, in fact, by Larsson's British publisher, Christopher MacLehose). But even the success of that book gave no hint of the juggernauts that the Salander books would be (the late author's secondary hero is the journalist Blomqvist -- who bears more than a passing resemblance to Stieg Larsson himself).

There are two overriding reasons for the hold that this massive trilogy has attained on the public: machine-tooled plotting which juggles the various narrative elements with a master's touch and (above all) the vividly realised character of Lisbeth Salander herself. She is something of a unique creation in the field of crime and thriller fiction: emotionally damaged, vulnerable and sociopathic (all of this concealed behind a forbidding Goth appearance), but she is also the ultimate survivor, somehow managing to stay alive despite the machinations of some deeply unpleasant villains (and the new book has a slew of those) as well as the hostility of often stupid establishment figures, who want her out of the picture quite as passionately as the bad guys. She is, of course, aided by the protective journalist Blomqvist, despite the fact that she had dumped him as a lover. The Girl who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest brings together all the elements that have made the previous books of the sequence so successful. Its relentless pace may be a bit exhausting for some readers, but most will be happy to strap themselves in for the ride. It's just a shame that this will be the final book in the sequence (though conspiracy theorists are hinting that Larsson began another manuscript before his untimely death…) --Barry Forshaw


The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest is the third and last book in the Millennium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson, it is less action packed but just as good as the previous two. This final book in the trilogy is the winding down and wrapping up of the story of Lizbeth, and Blomqvist.

I’m a huge fan of these books, and I’m sad that this is the last book in the trilogy, and the last book by author Stieg Larsson. Mr. Larsson died soon after turning in all three books to his editor. As I’ve mentioned before the characters in this book are superb, especially Lizbeth. She is complex, unique, and well done. She really fascinates me. As usual Stieg Larsson brings back many of the previous character from the first two books, but also introduces many more. Sometimes in the beginning of the books, you get boggled down by names, and trying to remember who’s who, but I usually get everything sorted out in my head by .a fourth of the way in. In The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest we find out about the ‘agency’ that started the whole mess that became Lizbeth’s life. The corruption of course is deep and masked and Blomqvist is the only one who can open pandora’s box. Also, the book covers the fallout of Lizbeth nearly dying and her trial for attempted murder of her father.

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest is a political, thrilling, unique edge of your pants read. It’s not as adrenaline pumping as the previous two, so if your expecting a wild ride, it’s not quite that. It is a ride, but of the conspiracy unraveling kind. I truly, truly love these books.

Rating:  5/5

On a side note, I've seen the trailer for the movie The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, and I was wondering if anyone has seen it?  I know there are plans for an U.S. release, so far they have a director and Brad Pitt, George Clooney, or Johnny Depp are up for one of the main roles (assuming it's for Blomqvist).  Also, they already have the role of Lizbeth casted, Carey Mulligan.

May 3, 2010

The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe

The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane
by Katherine Howe
Hyperion Books
Pages: 384

From Goodreads:

A spellbinding, beautifully written novel that moves between contemporary times and one of the most fascinating and disturbing periods in American history--the Salem witch trials.

Harvard graduate student Connie Goodwin needs to spend her summer doing research for her doctoral dissertation. But when her mother asks her to handle the sale of Connie's grandmother's abandoned home near Salem, she can't refuse. As she is drawn deeper into the mysteries of the family house, Connie discovers an ancient key within a seventeenth-century Bible. The key contains a yellowing fragment of parchment with a name written upon it: Deliverance Dane. This discovery launches Connie on a quest--to find out who this woman was and to unearth a rare artifact of singular power: a physick book, its pages a secret repository for lost knowledge.

As the pieces of Deliverance's harrowing story begin to fall into place, Connie is haunted by visions of the long-ago witch trials, and she begins to fear that she is more tied to Salem's dark past then she could have ever imagined.

Written with astonishing conviction and grace, The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane travels seamlessly between the witch trials of the 1690s and a modern woman's story of mystery, intrigue, and revelation.


The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane is the first book I’ve read about the Salem Witch Trials, and it certainly won’t be my last. It was really well done, so much so, that I wanted to know more about the trials. After finishing the book I immediately jumped on the internet and read up about this horrible time in history.

The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane started off somewhat slow to me, but the suspense builds up as you read. Connie is asked to clean up her grandma’s house so her mom could put it up for sale, while looking around the house she finds a key and scroll with the name Deliverance Dane on it in a old book on her grandmother’s shelves, being that Connie is a scholar, she is immediately intrigued, and begins a search to find out who or what is Deliverance Dane and why is the name on a scroll hidden in a book. Author Katherine Howe writes a book with precision, revealing layer by layer the story of Deliverance Dane. Weaved into the story is the romance between Connie and a steeplejack name Sam, and a professor trying to gain back his credibility. I really didn’t care for the love story, and if you are a fan of romance, this is seriously lacking, but the side story involving the professor was interesting. Of course, the story of Deliverance Dane and the Salem Witch Trials is what keeps you turning the pages.

The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane is a great historical fiction mystery that is well written, and engrossing. I’m now hunting for more books, fiction, and nonfiction about the Salem Witch Trials.

Rating: 4/5

Sent to me by the publisher for honest review