Good Books and the Random Movie

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30 October 2011

Legend (Legend #1)

Legend by Marie Lu is the first book in her dystopian series by the same name. It is also her debut novel though you would not know it by the writing or the story.

Sometime in the future, after world war, plagues and more, the Republic of America is formed. It comprises the western half of what is now the United States. Territories to the East of the Republic are referred to as the Colonies, and are at war with the Republic.

June Iparis was born into a wealthy district of Los Angeles and therefore had every privilege. She lives with her older brother Matias. She is the youngest person at her college - a school for those who earn the highest scores on their Trials.

Trials, taken at age 10, determine where you will go in life. A high score means high school and college. A low score means that you will skip high school and begin working in a factory or other dangerous job. If you fail the test you will be sent to a work camp.

Day was born in one of the poorest sections of the Los Angeles region. And he failed his Trials. But he escaped the fate proscribed by the government. He is now the most infamous of criminals. His goal is to fight back against the system.

When June's brother is killed she is pulled out of school and told to track the killer - whom she is told was Day. Usually Day does not hurt people when committing crimes. Now June will go undercover to the Lake district to hunt for her brother's killer.

Lu's first book in the Legend series will grab readers and have them pacing until the next book is published. It is a well-crafted story with compelling characters that readers will relate to and who will be loyally followed through out the series. Legend is a look at one possible future for America (and the world) based on the prejudice and privilege that already exist in our society today. Buy a copy on November 29th when it is released!

Lu, Marie. (2011). Legend. New York: G.P.Putnam's Sons.

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27 October 2011

Jude's Law (Law #1)

Jude's Law by Lori Foster is the first book in her Law duo.

Jude Jamison is a former SBC fighter - the ultimate fighting sport - who moved on to becoming an action film star. Now Jude has moved to Ohio to get away from the photographers and rumor mill.

May Price is from the small town in Ohio where Jude has moved. She has followed his career for years. Now he is the best customer at her art gallery.

Jude has been flirting with May since he moved to town, but she is not taking him seriously - he has a reputation for dating Hollywood stars and she does not fit the stereotype in any way.

But Jude will not quit until she agrees to go out with him. And when her brother gets into trouble with a gambling debt and is told that his choices are to pay the money or kill Jude Jamison, Jude will get the chance to get closer to May.

Foster writes sexy romance stories with dark suspense. Fans of Suzanne Brockmann should check her out.

Foster, Lori (2006). Jude's Law. New York: Zebra Books.

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24 October 2011

Goliath (Leviathan #3)

Goliath by Scott Westerfeld is the conclusion of the Leviathan trilogy (except that his last trilogy ended up having four books, so fans can still hope for more!). The premise of the series is that instead of just discovering evolution, Darwin discovered DNA as well. As a result some countries developed machinery while others used DNA to create new type of beasts.

The Leviathan, the British airship, was created from whale DNA. It is a living, breathing ship that flies it crew around the sky. A whole ecosystem exists inside of it.

In this conclusion to the series, Dylan Sharp (actually Deryn disguised as a boy to join the service) and Prince Alek continue to do their part to help bring the war to an end. The Leviathan will make a detour to rescue a scientist who claims to be able to end the war with his contraption - the Goliath.

In this volume, Alek will discover Deryn's secret. The Leviathan will travel to many foreign lands. And a mad scientist will affect the outcome of the war.

Westerfeld has created a dynamic, steampunk alternative history of the Great War. His characters are compelling and his plot genius. Fans of so many different elements of story will delight in this series.

Westerfeld, Scott. (2011). Goliath. New York: Simon Pulse.

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Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter #5)

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by JK Rowling is the fifth book in her Harry Potter series.

In Harry's fifth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry there will be many changes. Even before school starts the story turns darker. Harry and his Muggle cousin Dudley are attacked by dementors and Harry has to use magic to save them - it is illegal for underage wizards to use magic outside of school.

Now Harry will be brought before the Ministry of Magic to decide if he will be expelled from school for breaking the law. In the meantime, Lord Voldemort is gaining strength and his followers have rejoined him.

Before the end of the book Harry and his friends will be faced once more with a task that would make adults weary. But in spite of their need to defend themselves, this year's Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher is less than helpful.

Rowling is a brilliant writer. Upon a second reading, readers will pick up clues and nuances that were missed the first time around. If you have only seen the movie version of Harry Potter you have no idea what you are missing!

Rowling, J.K. (2003). Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. New York: Scholastic.

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22 October 2011

A Little Bit Wild (York Family #1)

A Little Bit Wild by Victoria Dahl is the first book in her York Family series.

In this historical romance, Marissa York need to marry. She has not desire to marry. She is just past the age when she has to marry, but after being caught in a compromising position, she may have little choice. All she knows is that she will NOT be marrying the man she was caught with.

But since she may now be pregnant, she has to marry to save her family's reputation. Her brother puts forth that she could marry someone else if they could find a willing gentleman in time.

Jude Bertrand, the son of a Duke volunteers. She has met Marissa four times at different parties and though she has not noticed him, he is quite taken with her.

Dahl's historical romance is approached in the same way as her contemporary romance - with a humor and lightness that make them thoroughly enjoyable to read. She is one of my favorite romance writers.

Dahl, Victoria. (2010). A Little Bit Wild. New York: Zebra Books.

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21 October 2011

The Mark of the Golden Dragon (Blood Jack #9)

The Mark of the Golden Dragon by L.A. Meyer is the ninth book in the Bloody Jack series about Mary "Jacky" Faber.

Jacky has had many adventures so far in this historical fiction series. She has been in the Navy, a pirate, a school girl, a spy, and a convict. In the previous book she was sentenced to life in the penal colony of Australia. But it did not stick.

Now Jacky is on her way back to England. Most of her friends are on one of the three ships traveling back together. But when a typhoon hits them, she is swept overboard. Her friends think her dead.

But thanks to a lucky piece of the broken mast, Jacky is able to get to land. Sure, she has no idea where she is, but Jacky has more lives than a cat. Now her goal is to get back to England, let her friends know she is alive, and clear her name.

As Meyer continues the series, readers will be delighted to spend more time with Jacky - as great a character as was ever written. Start reading the series today! You will not regret it.

Meyer, L.A. (2011). The Mark of the Golden Dragon. New York: Harcourt.

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17 October 2011

Bad Boys Do (Donovan Brother Brewery #2)

Bad Boys Do by Victoria Dahl is the second book in her Donovan Brothers Brewery series which started with in the anthology The Guy Next Door.

There are three siblings who run the Donovan Brothers Brewery - Eric, Jaime, and Tessa. Jaime has the smallest role in the business. He is in charge of the tasting room - basically a bartender.

But now Jaime wants to do more. He has plans to expand the brewery and take a greater role. He has even signed up for a class at the local college to learn more about the business side of things. And is surprised to find out that his teacher is someone he met at the Brewery.

Olivia Bishop is a teacher not because she always wanted to be, but because her now-ex husband talked her into it. She wanted to be a consultant for new restaurants.

Together Olivia and Jaime will come up with a proposal for the Brewery - and fall in love in the process.

Dahl is a great writer. Her characters are real and engaging. Her stories feel authentic. And her romances are steamy. She is a great choice for anyone looking for a book to read.

Dahl, Victoria. (2011). Bad Boys Do. New York: HQN.

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15 October 2011

Riptide (Cutter Cay #2)

Riptide by Cherry Adair is the second book in her Cutter Cay series about the Cutter brothers and their treasure salvaging company.

Nick Cutter is in the process of bringing up treasure from a shipwreck when his friends at T-FLAC, a special ops team, ask him to help them capture a ring of men who are smuggling blood diamond out of Africa. It is supposed to be a low-risk job to transport diamonds while the bad guys are rounded up.

At the same time, Princess Gabriella Visconti show up on Nick's ship. She is interested in getting the money back that her brother invested with Cutter Salvage. Not only is Bria a distraction, Nick cannot be sure that she is not tied to the diamonds.

Adair writes sizzling romantic suspense. She is know for her stories is military men. Her Cutter Cay series takes a slight turn but still features capable men, plus she makes life aboard a ship sound ideal.

Adair, Cherry. (2001). Riptide. New York: St. Martin's Press.

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12 October 2011

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter #4)

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is the fourth book in JK Rowling's Harry Potter series.

In his fourth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Harry and his friends will have some changes. After decades, the Triwizard Tournament - a tournament between magical schools - will be held at Hogwarts.

Just before school starts, Harry joins Hermionie, Ron, and the Weasleys to go to the Quidditch World Cup. After the match there are signs that Lord Voldemort is gaining strength.

So continues the lives of Harry and other wizards as an evil force begins to regain power. Before the end of this volume, Harry will once again face He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named.

Rowling is a great writer. So many things that slide by the reader the first time around - when the outcome of the series is still unknown - jump out on a second pass, showing just how brilliantly the series was crafted. Read it again!

Rowling JK. (2000). Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. New York: Scholastic.

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10 October 2011

Lead Me On (Tumble Creek #3)

Lead Me On is the third book in the Tumble Creek series by Victoria Dahl.

Jane Morgan is the office manager for Jennings Architecture (owned by Quinn Jennings of the previous Tumble Creek book). She is a no nonsense worker who keeps Mr Jennings on schedule.

When Chase from Extreme Excavations come into the office, Jane is instantly interested. But, she does not date people from the office or muscly, tattooed laborers. She is looking for a professional man to settle down with. Unfortunately, the last few she has dated have been boring.

When Jane can't get Chase out of her head, she calls him. She is not looking for a relationship - more of a birthday present of one night of fun.

Then her brother is arrested. She feels like her childhood mistakes are coming back to haunt her. If anyone in Aspen finds out about her background (she feels that) they would no longer respect her. But it seems as if her old life and her new life are on a collision course.

Dahl has created another hit! She is a great writer who is a delight to read. Fans of romance or anyone who wants a fast, fun read should pick up one of her books.

Dahl, Victoria. (2010). Lead Me On. New York: HQN.

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07 October 2011

Changing the Game (Play by Play #2)

Changing the Game by Jaci Burton is the second book in her Play by Play series about professional athletes.

Gavin Riley is a professional baseball player for the St. Louis Rivers. He is a great player and, thanks to his agent, he has a great contract - but he would almost play for free he loves the sport so much.

Elizabeth Darnell is his agent. As one of the very few female sports agents, Liz has to use some interesting tactics to get some people's attention. She has had to work twice as hard to be taken seriously. And she has some unbreakable rules including: never mix business with pleasure.

That being said, she has been in love with Gavin for about five years. She represents him and his brother - a professional football player. She considers their parents to be family and spend holidays with them.

Her relationship with each member of the family is about to change because her relationship with Gavin is changing. They can both pretend they are just having fun and it won't affect their working relationship, but they can only pretend for so long.

Burton is known for her sexy romance novels that border on erotica, but she is also great at character development. Readers will feel like they know each character and will come to care about the outcome of the stories - not just the hot sex along the way.

Burton, Jaci. (2011). Changing the Game. New York: Heat.

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05 October 2011

City of Lies (Museum Keepers #2)

City of Lies by Lian Tanner is the second book in Museum Keepers series.

Ten months after the end of the first book, the city of Jewel has begun to settle into it's new lifestyle. Goldie Roth, no longer needing to live in the Museum of Dent, is back with her parents.

A note sent to her home informs her that the Museum has invited her to be the new Keeper. As only one other Keeper has been chosen in the last century, it is a great honor.

The night that Goldie goes to the museum to give her answer, she stops and picks up Toadspit on the way. His sister Bonnie follows them. When they spot her she convinces them to let her come if she can shoot her bow accurately - to prove she can take care of herself. But when she goes to retrieve her arrow, she is taken.

Goldie and Toadspit follow and end up on a ship. When Toadspit is discovered, Goldie is left in the city of Spoke trying to free them. But Spoke is about to begin the Festival of Lies - two days when people are not permitted to tell the truth.

Tanner's second book retains some of the magic of the first, but falls short of her amazing debut. Still, the characters are great, including a strong heroine. Considering her first book was so awesome, this book is still better than much of the YA fantasy available! Read it and join other readers in waiting impatiently for the third Keepers book.

Tanner, Lian. (2011). City of Lies. New York: Delacourte Press.

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03 October 2011

Start Me Up (Tumble Creek #2)

Start Me Up by Victoria Dahl is her second book in the Tumble Creek series.

Lori Love had big plans to get out of Tumble Creek after high school. She left for college to begin her life of travel when her father got sick and she returned home. Now, ten years later, she runs her father's garage and drives a purple tow truck.

Lori is getting restless. She needs some excitement in her life but she doesn't want a relationship - just some no-strings-attached fun. When she goes to fix her best friend's brother's tractor she gets an idea.

Quinn is a successful architect. He has trouble dating because he works too much. But Lori's idea of fun will solve the problems of his always being late and missing important anniversaries.

Dahl is a great romance writer. Her books are fun and, at times, laugh-out-loud funny. She is a delight to read.

Dahl, Victoria. (2011). Start Me Up. New York: HQN.

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02 October 2011

Good Girls Don't (Donovan Brothers Brewery #1)

Good Girls Don't by Victoria Dahl is the first novel in the Donovan Brothers Brewery series that began with a short story in The Guy Next Door.

Tessa and her brothers Jaime and Eric own Donovan Brothers Brewery in Boulder, Colorado. They inherited it when their parents died. At the time, Eric was only 24 and took over the care for his younger siblings.

Now Donovan Brothers is about to expand - if they can finalize the contract with a new airline. But the head of the airline is not the easiest man to work with - and he just found out that Jaime slept with his daughter. Now Tessa will do everything she can to save the deal because she is afraid that this one last screw up (no pun intended) will be the end of her brothers being able to work together.

To top it all off, there was a break in at the brewery. Detective Luke Asher is in charge of the case and may lead to be a major distraction for Tessa.

Dahl's book are fun romances with a splash of mystery. They are a great way to spend a rainy Autumn day. She will make you smile and blush while you read.

Dahl, Victoria. (2011). Good Girls Don't. New York: HQN.

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