Book Mama

A Mama and her love of books. Come share what I've read. Reviewer for: CK2s Kwips and Kritiques

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Location: Alaska, United States

SAHM to 5 wonderful people. I'm a happy wife and mother who is shamelessly addicted to books. Come share them with me. My reviews are courtesy of CK2S Kwips and Kritiques.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Passion Betrayal and Killer Highlights by Kyra Davis

The Barnes & Noble Review
In Passion, Betrayal and Killer Highlights -- the sequel to Kyra Davis's 2005 debut novel, Sex, Murder and a Double Latte -- frappuccino-addicted murder mystery novelist and amateur sleuth Sophie Katz is faced with a new whodunit, this one involving her sister, Leah, and brother-in-law, Bob, who turn up dead only hours after confessing his infidelity.

With numerous bullets in Bob's head and his gun missing, Leah becomes the prime suspect. But Sophie knows her sister could never commit murder and, with the help of hunky Russian private investigator Anatoly Darinsky, sets off to find the real killer. It soon becomes apparent that Bob was far from an ethical man: He was cheating with not one but three women, and he might well have been involved in far more nefarious activities. But as Sophie and Anatoly close in on the killer, Leah -- the grieving widow -- decides to have her navel pierced and get burgundy highlights in her hair…

A witty and engaging blend of chick lit, pop culture, and amateur-sleuth whodunit, Davis's San Francisco-based saga will appeal not only to female readers but to any mystery fan who has an offbeat sense of humor. Davis effortlessly explores serious social issues -- racial discrimination, sexism, adultery, multiculturalism, etc. -- while keeping the mood light and laugh-out-loud funny. Additionally, the cornucopia of subtle symbolism throughout (like the exploding Barbie Dream House) is priceless. To borrow a line from the book: "Fabulous, absolutely fabulous!" Paul Goat Allen

My Comments:
I was really, really looking forward to this sequel to Sex Murder and a Double Latte. Unfortunately for me, I was in the middle of having the blah's and it translated to my book reading. I wasn't quite as engaged by this book, due to no fault of its own. It was all me. My bad.

The characters were just as engaging, although I could have used some more of Sophie's crazy friends that were more prominent in the first book. Sophie's sister, her sister's sister in law and brother in law's cast of bimbo's kept me more then entertained. Anatoly (Sophie's love interest) is as wonderful as ever and I will never look at chocolate covered espresso beans the same way.

It was a frappuccino mystery. Sweet, light, smooth and before you know it, you drank the whole darn thing! I hope Kyra Davis is going to be writing more in this fun series.

Keep It Or Pass It On?

I'll be passing it along to See you there!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Dearly Devoted Dexter by Jeff Lindsay

From the Publisher
Dexter Morgan has been under considerable pressure. In trying to avoid the deep suspicions of the dangerous Sergeant Doakes-who believes Dexter is a homicidal maniac (which, of course, he is)-Dexter has had to slip further into his foolproof domestic disguise. While not working as a blood spatter analyst for the Miami Police Department, he now spends nearly all his time with his girlfriend, Rita, and her two children. But how long can Dexter play Kick the Can instead of Slice the Slasher? How long before his Dark Passenger forces him to drop the charade of family life and let his inner monster run free?

In trying times, opportunity knocks. A particularly nasty psychopath is cutting a trail through Miami-a man who "slices and dices and leaves vegetables behind." Dexter's dark appetite is revived, but it's not until his nemesis, Sergeant Doakes, is abducted that Dex can finally throw himself headlong into the search for a new plaything. Unless, of course, his plaything finds him first . . .

With the incredible wit and freshness that made his first Dexter novel a bestseller, Jeff Lindsay brings back one of the most original, colorful narrators in years, and signals the arrival of a superb new series.

My Comments:
These books are my guilty pleasure to be sure. They are full of irony (a serial killer who only kills other serial killers) and character. Dexter calls himself "a well-designed artificial human" who manages to get through life pretending to emote in ways he feels uncapable. He considers himself a monster through and through. But I see a white knight in there somewhere...

This is the second in the series, and I didn't enjoy it quite as much as the first. It's a bit more gruesome. The beginning really grabs you and the ending makes the sometimes fairly lackluster middle worth it! I shouldn't say lackluster, because honestly, I didn't want to put the book down. But I felt Dexter's frustration as his Dark Passenger was kept at bay.

Keep It Or Pass It On?
Hubby wants to read it (we adore the Showtime series) and then I'm passing it on to a friend.

Feet First by Leanne Banks

From the Publisher

It's all about the shoes!

Designing footwear is Jenny Prillaman's life, so getting the plum assignment to create a socialite's wedding shoes is a dream come true. Dealing with the heiress is another story. So is staying away from her dreamy new boss, a man too hot to deny for long, despite Jenny's best intentions of keeping her business away from his pleasure.

Making Ballagio, Inc. an international success is executive Marc Waterson's career ambition. But his life's desire is to find the right woman and settle down. Too bad Jenny would rather follow in his corporate footsteps than try on the glass slippers of a company wife.

At least Marc's got one thing going for him -- the way to a woman's heart is through a really great pair of shoes!

My Comments:
I am a self proclaimed romance novel snob. I am always disappointed when books I would consider to be in the fantasy/sci-fi or mystery category are found in the romance section of Barnes and Noble. But this was recommended by my buddy, Lori. No, recommended is the wrong word. She told me I had to get it, and I did. End of discussion. Heh. Lori is helping me get over my snobbery and she's doing a fine job of it.

This was a fun light read. When the chips are down, a nice little book like this can't help but cheer you up. It's the perfect book to read while you're sitting in the sun sipping iced tea. A Cinderella themed story that never really gets tired. And there are all the lovely shoes to read about!

Keep It Or Pass It On?
It's listed at if you'd like a great beach read this summer!

Twilight by Stephanie Meyer

From The Publishers:
Stephenie Meyer's thrilling debut novel is a love story with a bite. In this suspenseful and sensual tale, 17-year-old Isabella moves to a small town in Washington State and gets more excitement than she bargained for when she falls for an enigmatic classmate -- who happens to be a vampire. Filled with fantastic mystery and romance, it's a heart-stopping novel that captures the struggle between defying our instincts and satisfying our desires.

My Comments:
Another fabulous recommendation from Booklovers Group at Yahoo. I'm always looking out for a good book Riley and I can share and this one hit the mark. I read it first, after that Blood and Chocolate debacle, I thought it only right. And lucky me! This book was more mature. And I mean that in the best possible way. The characters are fully developed and very relatable, which is surprising considering the subject matter.

The writing itself was like a tea kettle on slow boil. It's a long book. And it takes quite a while to build up to the point where there's substantial action, but I never realized it until the author really cranked it up a notch at the end. It's a book to savor and every word on every page was a joy. I am irritated by wordy books. Authors who write just to hear themselves type. Authors so caught up in their own head that they are the very definition of verbose. Stephanie Meyer is definitely not one of those!

Riley and I really enjoyed discussing this book together. The themes, did Edward do the right thing, did Bella make a mistake and so on. I cherish books like this that we can both so thoroughly enjoy!

New Moon is the next in the series and it's on order!

Keep It Or Pass It On?
Technically, it's Riley's book and I don't think she's going to let it out of her sight!

All Together Dead by Charlaine Harris

The Barnes & Noble Review
The seventh installment of Charlaine Harris's Southern Vampire saga (after 2006's Definitely Dead) marks a decidedly dramatic turn in the series that features lovable telepathic Louisiana barmaid Sookie Stackhouse. What started out as a relatively lighthearted amalgam of romance, paranormal fantasy, and mystery has gradually evolved into a complex and wildly compelling literary juggernaut comparable to Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles and Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake novels.

In All Together Dead, Sookie is trying to put past failed relationships behind her and has a new man in her life: the handsome and mysterious shapeshifter Quinn. But in the wake of the devastation from Hurricane Katrina, and with the entire Louisiana supernatural community still reeling, Sookie is summoned by Sophie-Anne Leclerq (the Queen of Louisiana) to accompany her to a historic regional vampire summit. However, the conference -- where entire power bases could be gained or lost -- is filled with friction and ill will; and when delegates are found brutally murdered, Sookie finds herself in the middle of a conspiracy-ridden power play where the unlikeliest of suspects could be a cold-blooded killer…

Considering this series' ever-increasing cast of memorable characters (a half-wit bloodsucker named Bubba who happens to be an undead Elvis Presley, quirky telepath Barry the Bellboy, et al.) and a fast-paced, witty, and intricate story line that would rival any daytime soap, it's no surprise that HBO is in the process of developing a show (True Blood) based on Harris's Southern Vampire novels. Fans of authors like the aforementioned Hamilton, Kim Harrison, and Patricia Briggs who have yet to discover Sookie Stackhouse should do so as soon as possible -- before Bubba leaves the building. Paul Goat Allen

My Comments:
It was too darn short. The end.

Just kidding! I love that Harris puts out a new Sookie book around my birthday every year. She was a week early this year. Whoo hoo! This series has really become one of my very favorites. It started out being rather light in comparison to the Anita Blake series, but as Sookie has matured in her ability and as her world has grown, it's become more complicated and always interesting. I much prefer Sookie to Anita Blake these days. The plot is nice and juicy. The hardest things about it were putting it town and putting it away when it was finished. There are some shocking bits in the end that I actually had to re-read to make sure it really happened!

Keep It Or Pass It On?
These are staying put on my shelf. I have been known to re-read them on occasion, and I feel a re-read coming on soon. Dead to the World is calling to me!

Reunion in Death by J. D. Robb

From the Publisher
At exactly 7:30 p.m., Walter Pettibone arrived home to over a hundred friends and family shouting, "surprise!" It was his birthday. Although he had known about the planned event for weeks, the real surprise was yet to come. At 8:45 p.m., a woman with emerald eyes and red hair handed him a glass of champagne. One sip of birthday bubbly, and he was dead. The woman's name is Julie Dockport. No one at the party knew who she was. But Detective Eve Dallas remembers her all too well. Eve was personally responsible for her incarceration nearly ten years ago. And now, let out on good behavior, she still has nothing but bad intentions. It appears she wants to meet Dallas again - in a reunion neither will forget...

My Comments:
I've been trudging through this series, following up on my New Year's resolution best I can. I haven't always looked forward to reading my one In Death book a month, but this one changed it for me. I've always *liked* these books, don't get me wrong, but they were all blending together a bit and nothing stood out as different from the others. But this one definitely did. This is the fourteenth book in the series, and while maybe I thought it was getting a bit stale, things are perking back up again.

One aspect that made this book so edgy was confronting Eve's past with her. Going back to the place where she was so horribly abused and living through those memories with her reminded me of what a strong, interesting character Eve Dallas truly is. She's even stronger when she lets her husband in to work through the pain together.

"Julie Dockport" was a great villain. One of the best in a while I think and she was a very worth adversary for Eve.

I look forward to the next in the series.

Keep It Or Pass It On?
It's posted at if you're interested!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

California Demon by Julie Kenner

From the Publisher

Welcome to San Diablo. The perfect place to raise a couple of kids. And a lot of Hell.

What’s a mother to do, when there are only so many hours in the day, and the fate of the world is in her hands?

Kate Connor was a retired demon hunter. Now, after fourteen years busting her tail as a suburban housewife, raising two kids, and supporting her husband’s political ambitions, she’s rejoined the workforce -- and except for a few minions of evil, no one has a clue. She tries hard to keep her home and work lives separate -- a good idea when your job involves random slaughter.

Between fending off demon attacks, trying to figure out why the mysterious new teacher at the high school seems so strangely familiar, and keeping a watchful eye on her daughter’s growing infatuation with a surfer dude, Kate is the busiest -- and most dangerous-- soccer mom on the block...

"What would happen if Buffy the Vampire Slayer got married, moved to the suburbs and became a stay-at-home mom? She’d be a lot like Kate Connor." -- Publishers Weekly

My Comments:
Not quite as enthralling as the first in the series, Carpe Demon, but still a fun solid read that I thoroughly enjoyed.

There were some very interesting plot points in this second novel in the series. Is her daughter's new teacher a demon or her father somehow reincarnated? Will her new husband and daughter find out that she's really a demon hunter and not just wife and Mom? Will her son Timmy get used to his new move from crib to big boy bed? Yes, all those questions and more plague our heroine.

And I personally cannot wait for Demons Are Forever due out July 3rd!

Keep It Or Pass It On?
I'm actually letting my 14 year old read it. She really enjoyed Kenner's A Good Goul's Guide to Getting Even, and there was nothing I thought was inappropriate in this one.

Deal Breaker by Harlan Coben

From the Publisher
Sports agent Myron Bolitar is poised on the edge of the big time. So is Christian Steele, a rookie quarterback and Myron's prized client. But when Christian gets a phone call from a former girlfriend, a woman who everyone, including the police, believes is dead, the deal starts to go sour. Trying to unravel the truth about a family's tragedy, a woman's secret, and a man's lies, Myron is up against the dark side of his business—where image and talent make you rich, but the truth can get you killed.

In novels that crackle with wit and suspense, Edgar Award winner Harlan Coben has created one of the most fascinating and complex heroes in suspense fiction—Myron Bolitar—a hotheaded, tenderhearted sports agent who grows more and more engaging and unpredictable with each page-turning appearance.

My Comments:
Yet another in a long list of recommended books from Booklovers Group at Yahoo. And about darn time I picked up the series too! Although it wasn't as "on the edge of your seat until the last page" as Gone For Good (my first Harlan Coben book that I cannot stop talking about), it was fantastic. I was worried at first that it would be too sports related for me. I'm not a sports person at all and would be totally bored by a lot of references, but if this first book in the series is any indication I was worried for nothing. It's all about the suspense, baby.

The best part about this book for me was the characters. Myron Bolitar and Win are charming, unpredicitable, sweet and disarming. Oh, and Win is just a wee bit on the hairy scary side as well. I love these guys, and I am really looking forward to more in this series. It was fast paced with snappy dialog that could keep up with the best of them!

Keep It Or Pass It On?
I'm passing it on to my husband. Only because I love him that much!

Chill Factor by Sandra Brown

From the Publisher

Cleary, North Carolina, is a sleepy mountain town — the kind of place where criminal activity is usually limited to parking violations. Not so, lately. Four women have disappeared from Cleary over the past two years. And there's always a blue ribbon left near the spot where each of the women was last seen. There are no bodies, no other clues, and no suspicion as to who their abductor might be. And now, another woman has disappeared without a trace.

It is to this backdrop that Lilly Martin returns to close the sale of her mountain cabin, marking the end of her turbulent eight-year marriage to Dutch Burton, Cleary's chief of police. Dutch's reluctance to let her go isn't Lilly's only obstacle. As she's trying to outrun a snowstorm, her car skids on the icy road and strikes a man. She recognizes the injured man as Ben Tierney, whom she'd met the previous summer. They're forced to wait out the storm in the cabin, but as the hours of their confinement mount, Lilly begins to wonder if the greatest danger to her safety isn't the blizzard outside, but the mysterious man right beside her. Is Ben Tierney the feared abductor? Or is he who he claims to be...her rescuer from harm and from the tragedy that haunts her?

My Comments:
It really wasn't fair for me to read this book directly after Gone For Good. I didn't enjoy it as much as I would have and it was a valuable lesson (that I have the hardest time learning) not to read books from the exact same genre back to back. I couldn't help but compare the two and I wasn't as compelled to read Chill Factor as I was Gone For Good.

That being said, it was a very good book. Lots of twists and turns. The suspense was good. The story was good. The characters were fantastic! Envy is my favorite Sandra Brown book so far, but this one is right up there.

Keep It Or Pass It On?
It's listed at for anyone interested!