Thursday, August 21, 2014

Out of the Mist by JoAnn Ross

Ian  is a documentary filmmaker who has come to Highland Falls to make a movie about the annual Highland games or that is what he is telling the Stewart family. They need him to make this movie so they can get more tourists to come to the town and to their castle. Lily is attracted to Ian right away. He likes her too but he is not there to meet a woman, much less fall in love with one. Guess again buddy!  How will Lily react when she finds out the real reason he is there? Will he make the film?

From publishers weekly:
Veteran romance author Ross follows up her Callahan Brothers trilogy (River Road, etc.) with this fun but fitful offering, the first in a new series based on a trio of Scottish-American sisters. The story starts when ornery Scotsman Duncan MacDougall sends his grandson, Ian, to America to reclaim the Brooch of Lorn, a historic jewel that the feuding Stewart and MacDougall clans have been stealing from each other for centuries. Genius filmmaker Ian masks this surreptitious mission by pretending he's making a film about the annual Highland Games that the Stewart family sponsors in their small Tennessee community. Then he meets and falls in love with art gallery owner Lily Stewart—the same woman who, Duncan says, stole the brooch from him months earlier. Though Ian quickly deduces Lily is innocent, he can't figure out how to tell her the truth about his motives. Lily herself struggles to clean up her family's many messes while fearing that Ian will leave town once the film is done. It's never clear why otherwise sane adults like Ian or Lily give in so easily to their families' preposterous agendas, and the background information that forms the trilogy's foundation is often inserted at awkward moments. However, the story's robust momentum and lively characters make this a fun, energetic read.

For a "Look Inside", click here.

Pages: 365
Published: 2003

Blue Bloods: The Graphic Novel

The art in this book is fantastic. But once again I find I would rather read the book that look at pictures. A group of teens all go to the same high school. Most of them are rich. Then a girl named Aggie gets murdered. A couple of the kids get invited to join what they think is a charity called the Blood Bank. They find out that is not what it is or what they are, except one of them. But Sky needs to find out what is really happening and who is killing their friends.

From goodreads:
For this group of gorgeous teens, New York is all about parties, fashion...and blood. 

Schuyler Van Alen is a loner and happy that way. But when she turns fifteen, her life dramatically changes. A mosaic of blue veins appears on her arms, and she begins to have memories of another time and place. When a classmate is found dead at a nightclub, the mystery deepens. Most surprising of all, Jack Force, the hottest boy in school, starts showing a sudden interest in her. 

Schuyler wants answers, but is she prepared to learn the truth...especially when she discovers her part in it? 

The sexy and secretive world of the Blue Bloods comes to life in this stunning graphic novel adaptation of Book One of Melissa de la Cruz's best-selling series.

Paperback112 pages
Published January 15th 2013 by Hyperion Book CH

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Spirit Dances by C.E. Murphy

This is the sixth book in the Walker Papers series. I need to go back and start at the beginning, although the author did explain what was happening, if you have not read the other books. Joanne Walker is a Irish/Cherokee shaman. Something happened to her and she got a lot of power. She is also a homicide cop. She and her partner Billy, who sees ghosts, got called out on a domestic and Walker had to shoot the wife before she hit Billy in the head with a baseball bat with a nail in it. Then Walker tried to heal the woman and her magic did not work. It really bothered her that she had to shoot the woman but she did not kill her.
She received some tickets to an Indian dance performance from a woman whose life she saved. When she told her captain about the tickets he invited himself to use the extra. Apparently, he has a thing for her - that's is part of the reason I need to start from the beginning....something happens at the performance and even though Walker is suspended from duty she needs to investigate this mystery!

This is a very good book.  I know I will enjoy this series.

From goodreads:
For Seattle detective Joanne Walker, spring is about new beginnings. She's mastered her shamanic abilities (mostly), survived a cannibalistic serial killer (barely) and now she's facing the biggest challenge of her career--attending a dance concert with her sexy boss, Captain Michael Morrison. But when the performance--billed as transformative--actually changes her into a coyote, she and Morrison have bigger things to deal with.
And there's more. Homeless people are disappearing, a mystical murder puts Joanne way out of her jurisdiction and with the full moon coming on, it's looking like the killer is a creature that can't possibly exist.
But Jo could probably handle all of that, if one ordinary homicide hadn't pushed her to the very edge....

FRIDAY, MARCH 17, 8:34 A.M.
“Walker, Holliday, you’re up. Homicide in Ballard, probably domestic violence. Be there yesterday.” A set of sedan keys flew across the room at my head. I caught them painlessly, only because I’d just come in the door and hadn’t yet taken my gloves off. The guy who’d thrown them at me—our lieutenant, Braxton, who was decent, hardworking, and who never impinged on my consciousness for a single moment beyond those I spent following his direct commands—jerked his jaw at the door, indicating we should already be gone. I did a quick dance of shedding my coat, shrugging on my duty weapon—an item which, like Braxton, lay outside my realm of active awareness except when I was actually at work—and pulling the coat back on before my partner made it to the door.
Because my desk was three steps from the door, I got there first, and that meant I won: I got to drive. After nine months of that game, I wasn’t sure why we bothered, because neither of us pretended Billy was the better driver. Not that he was a bad driver, mind you. It’s just that it was the only class at the academy I’d been too proud to come in anything but first.
He caught up to me and muttered, “I hate domestic cases,” as we headed out the door.
“I know.” Nobody liked them, which was part of why Billy and I were up on this one. Braxton tried to rotate the DV cases through the whole Homicide team, because under the best of circumstances, they were emotionally messy, and under the worst—which was more usual—cops ended up the bad guys no matter what they did. “Could be worse. At least a murder means there won’t be an outraged spouse trying to beat us off because her partner didn’t really do anything wrong.”
“Walker, are you seriously telling me murder is preferable to a live victim who doesn’t want to press charges?”
“That wasn’t what I meant.” It was, however, kind of what I’d said. No wonder I let Billy do most of the talking at crime scenes. We drove over to Ballard while Dispatch offered a few more details on the homicide we were approaching. There was a pattern of abuse in the family, instigated by the wife, one Patricia “Patty” Raleigh, against whom the city had twice pressed charges. She’d done anger management courses and then a short stint in jail. We weren’t sure yet if it was herself or her husband, Nathan, or possibly both, who was the victim: one of their children had run out of the house, bloody and screaming hysterically about Mommy and Daddy being dead. The neighbor had called it in.
Billy left his coffee untouched as the information came in, muscle in his jaw bulging like flexible stone. “I hate domestic cases.”
“I know.” There was nothing else to say. I pulled up along the curb in front of the Raleighs’ ranch-style home a few minutes later, and we got out of the car. It wasn’t a wealthy part of the city, the houses mostly from the fifties and sixties. They tended to look careworn, with sagging fences, older tricycles and swing sets in small front yards. A few houses stood out as having been renovated: fresh paint, new roofs, lawns trim and shipshape even though winter was only just letting go its grip.
The Raleighs’ house wasn’t one of those. I glanced over it, then met the eyes of a broad-boned black woman standing in the next yard over. She had two kids with her, both white, both huddled against her strong form. Her hands were on their chests, over their hearts: protective, like a mama bear. She was probably the neighbor who’d called in the 273D, and the kids were probably Nathan and Patty Raleigh’s. I nodded to her once and she nodded back, then retreated to her front porch, taking the kids with her. She’d been letting us know where they were, and now planned to stay out of the way until we needed them and her. Most people intimately involved with a murder weren’t that clearheaded. I chalked it up to equal likelihoods that she was involved or that she was very sensible, and followed Billy up the driveway to the house.
He paused at the door, an eyebrow lifted at me. I gave him a nod much like I’d just given the neighbor, then let the Sight filter over my normal vision.
To read more, click here.

Pages: 361
Published: 2011

The Hero by Robyn Carr

Rawley is on his way to work when he sees a young woman and child walking on the highway. He picks them up and realizes they need help. He moves them into his home that day. Devon is escaping from a commune where she found out they are growing marijuana. The man running the place was getting very strange.
Sarah and Cooper are building a home and Spencer and Austin move into her house which ends up down the street from where Devon moves after a few weeks with Rawley. Spencer is attracted to Devon. They date and get close and he gets scared. Then her child is taken. All the men go with Devon to rescue Mercy.  Will they find her in time? Will Spencer and Devon ever get together?

This is the third Thunder Point book. I like this series but not as much as Virgin River books.

From the author:
In a moment of desperation, Devon McAllister took her daughter and fled a place where they should have been safe and secure. She has no idea what is around the next bend, but she is pretty certain it can’t be worse than what they’ve left behind. Her plan is to escape to somewhere she can be invisible. Instead, an unexpected offer of assistance leads her to Thunder Point, a tiny Oregon town with a willingness to help someone in need.
As the widowed father of a vulnerable young boy, Spencer Lawson knows something about needing friendship. But he’s not looking for anything else. Instead, he’s thrown his energy into his new role as Thunder Point’s high school football coach. Tough and demanding to his team, off the field he’s gentle and kind...just the kind of man who could heal Devon’s wounded heart.
Devon thought she wanted to hide from the world. But in THUNDER POINT, you find bravery where you least expect it...and sometimes, you find a hero.

Chapter One
Devon walked down a tree-lined road, not really sure where she was but comfortable that she was far enough away from the family compound that it was no longer imperative that she hide when a vehicle approached. She’d been walking for at least eight hours and saw the first rays of light coming over the mountainous horizon behind her; it reassured her she was traveling west, toward the coast. She carried her three year old, Mercy, and a backpack stuffed with a few items of clothing and forty dollars that had been given to her by a kind stranger.
She was exhausted but would not stop to rest until she reached highway 101. Every so often she would put Mercy down and hold her hand, but that made the walking unbearably slow. When she heard a vehicle, she just kept her head down, staring at the ground.
It was a truck, which drove by her, but then stopped ahead of her. It was cranberry red and old, but in mint condition. A man got out and yelled to her. “Miss? Need a ride?”
She walked toward the vehicle. “Am I close to 101?” she asked.
“I’m going that way, on my way to work,” he said. “I can give you a lift.”
He was an older guy. He wore a red, white and blue ball cap and his cheeks and chin were stubbled. Though it was June, he wore a jacket. The early morning was misty, which told her she was in a valley near the Pacific. “Where are you headed?” she asked.
“Thunder Point,” he said. “It’s a very small town on the coast in Coos County. I work at a beach bar and I open for breakfast. Been there a few years now. It’s mostly fishing towns around there.”
Well, she’d gotten out of Douglas County, but she wasn’t sure where Coos County was. She didn’t know where anything was — she rarely went out of the compound and had never been to a small coastal town but knew that highway 101 stretched as far north and south as she needed to get. Highway 5 was bigger and closer to the camp and if anyone was looking for a couple of runaways hitching rides, they’d probably start there. “How close to 101 is your town?”
“Plenty close. Want me to drop you there?”
She walked toward the truck. “Thanks,” she said. “You’re sure?”
“No trouble,” he said.
She put her backpack in the truck bed but held Mercy on her lap, strapping them in together. She kept her head down, her hands tucked between her knees.
“Name’s Rawley Goode,” he said. She said nothing. “You got a name?”
“Devon,” Devon said. She shouldn’t use her real name. What if someone came poking around, asked if anyone had seen a woman named Devon? But she was almost too tired to lie. Not to mention nervous. At least she hadn’t said Sister Devon.
“Well, you’re not an escaped convict, are you, Devon?” he asked.
She looked at him. “Is there a prison around here?”
He smiled. “Kidding,” he said. “Where you headed?”
For lack of a better answer she said, “Seattle. Eventually.”
He whistled. “You’re a long ways from there. What brings you to this old back road?”
She shrugged. “It’s where I was left off.”
“You hitchin’ rides?”
She nodded. Her ride over the mountain had been planned, but was to be kept secret. “101 will do better for that,” she said.
“Unless the police see you. Then it gets complicated.”

To read more, click here.

Pages: 379
Published: 2013

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Last Lord of the Moors by Isabella Brooke

From the author:
Richard, Lord of the Manor of Arkthwaite, lives alone in his crumbling house, resenting his hereditary position. He’s hoping to drink himself to an early grave and bring the title to an end.
His bleak plans are upset when newcomer Helena decides to shake up this fading community. She’s been jilted and she needs a new project, so she joins forces with local headmistress Vicky and together they hatch a plan to bring broadband to this remote spot. Their lives clash with Richard’s as the cable needs to be dug across his land.
But when Richard falls for Helena, it gets more complicated. She’s suspicious of men and their compliments; and he has his own reasons for wanting to stay single. Can they both shake off their histories to bring a better future to the village – and their own lives?
I got this book for free on amazon. Helena moves to a small town called Arkthwaite. She gets a job in a larger town near by.  She is trying to change her life because she was jilted. She feels that she cannot live up to her mother's standards.  That is very sad. She meets the "Lord" Richard and they have a relationship but it goes no where because Helena is a very unhappy person.  Will she change so she can be happy?
I was iffy about this book because I wanted to slap Helena. She had some weird ideas. Sure, her mother was a bit shallow and went from man to man but that was her mother's life. Helena never got her head out of her own ass to look at the world from a different view, until she got a talking to from her friend Vicky!
Pages: 338
Published: 2013

Paradise Valley by Robyn Carr

This is the seventh book in the Virgin River series. Rick is injured in Iraq. Jack and Liz rush over to Germany to see him. His head is messed up bad. Eventually he gets back to Virgin River, but he drives everyone away. A new guy comes to town, Dan Brady - he is known to a few people in town already. Dan gets a job with Paul's construction business. He rents Cheryl Creighton's house and starts seeing her and helps out with Rick when no one else can reach him. Abby and Cam move in together. Walt and Muriel get even closer, while she is in Montana making a movie.

I have to stop reading one after another...I cannot remember what happens!! I can't though - it's an addiction!

From the author:
A moving story about survival, forgiveness—and the power of love to heal a wounded spirit.
Marine corporal Rick Sudder is home early from Iraq—his tour ended abruptly on the battlefield. The carefree boy is gone, replaced by a man who believes his future is as bleak as his mirror image. But can the passion and commitment of a young woman who has never given up on him mend his broken body and shattered heart?
As the people of Virgin River rally around Rick, another recent arrival tests the tightly knit mountain town’s famous welcoming spirit. Dan Brady has a questionable past, and he’s looking for a place to start over. He’d like it to be Virgin River...if he can find a way in. But he never expects to find it in the arms of a woman who was as much an outcast as himself.

For a favorite son returned from war and an outsider looking for a home, Virgin River offers them a chance to make peace with the men they once were...and to find the dreams they thought they’d lost.

Walt Booth was feeling lonely. He’d been widowed over five years ago when his kids were twenty-six and fourteen. Now that he was sixty-two, the kids were on their own. Vanessa was married to Paul and they lived on the property on the other side of the stable, and Tom had nearly completed his first year at West Point. Walt’s niece, Shelby, had been staying with him, but during the February freeze she had left to vacation in Maui before pursuing her education in San Francisco.
But that only scratched the surface. He’d recently begun a relationship with his neighbor, a beautiful, vivacious, mischievous movie star just a few years younger than he was. Muriel St. Claire. Their liaison was just getting interesting, just heating up, when she was lured back to Hollywood to make another film. He was left with her two Labrador retrievers and her two horses. He’d had one phone call since she’d departed for L.A. via private jet, a call in which he had heard the background noise of a party. There was music, chatter, laughter, the clinking of glasses, and Muriel sounded on top of the world.
The truth of the matter was, he’d gone and fallen in love with her. She had trapped him by being nothing like his perception of a movie star. She’d come to Virgin River almost a year ago, moved into an old farmhouse with her animals and restored it, almost entirely by herself. He’d never seen her in anything but slacks, usually jeans and boots, often painter’s overalls. Shewas a crackerjack horsewoman, an expert shot and was training her own bird dogs for hunting waterfowl. Earthy. Basic. Yet her wit was sophisticated and her beauty natural and unforgettable.And right now, while he sat by the window in his great room, scratching her dog behind the ear, she was making a movie with Jack Nicholson. The truth? He wondered if she’d come back.
His doorbell rang and he hefted himself up to answer it. Two weeks ago he’d felt like a sixteen-yearold boy, looking forward to seeing Muriel every day. Today he felt old and short on time. He opened the door to Luke Riordan and frowned. Thiswas just about the last person he’d like to see right now. Luke and Shelby had had a romance that didn’t work out, which Walt suspected was her reason for leaving.
“Morning, General,” Luke said with a slight nod.
“Got a minute?”
“I guess,” he said, standing back from the door.
“No thanks, sir,” Luke said, stepping into the house.
“It’s just that— Well, I owe you an apology.”
“That so?” Walt asked. He turned and walked back into the great room. The dogs spied Luke and immediately put the rush on him. Luce, the chocolate Lab, sat in front of him politely, but her tail wagged so violently it sent her whole body into a quiver, while Buff, less than a year old, lost all control and just barreled into him, jumping up and head butting for attention. “Buff! Down!” Walt admonished. It didn’t do much good. The yellow Lab was pretty much out of control where visitors were concerned.
“Whoa,” Luke laughed, grabbing the Lab behind the ears and sitting him down. “Got yourself some company here?”
“These are Muriel’s dogs. She’s out of town and I’m taking care of them.”
“Out of town?” Luke asked, straightening.
Walt sat in his chair and clicked the dogs back to his side by snapping his fingers. He didn’t volunteer any more information about Muriel’s whereabouts. With a Lab on each side of him, he indicated the chair facing his. “Take a seat, Riordan. I’m anxious to hear about this apology.”
Luke took his seat uneasily. “General Booth, sir, I’m the reason Shelby left a little over two weeks ago. I apologize, sir. She had every reason to think her future wasn’t secure with me and she left.”
Walt settled back. Shelby was twenty-five to Luke’s thirty-eight and Walt had been concerned that his niece’s involvement with this tough-edged Blackhawk pilot might end with her being hurt. “How does that not surprise me?” Walt said churlishly.
“I let her go, sir. I thought she might be better off. I hated to think she’d bet everything on someone like me.”
Walt smirked. He couldn’t have put it better himself. “I should’ve just shot you,” he said. “I gave it serious thought.”
Luke couldn’t suppress a huff of silent laughter. “I figured you did. Sir.” Luke hadn’t been out of the army quite long enough to relax about that rank thing. The general was a general till he died and was accorded appropriate respect, even when he acted like a son of a bitch and threatened Luke’s life.
“You should be apologizing to her, not me,” Walt said.

To read more, click here.

Pages: 410
Published: 2009

Temptation Ridge by Robyn Carr

Shelby meets Luke and decides he is the man for her to date until she goes off on her adventures before she goes to college. She is 25 and did not get to have college because she was taking care of her dying mother for five years. She staying at her Uncle Walt's place in Virgin River.
Vanni's friend Nikki is getting married. Another friend of theirs, Abby, slips away from the reception and meets a man in the bar. Cameron convinces her to spend the night with him. She does and it's wonderful but she says she can't see him anymore because of her divorce. She gets a surprise and sees Cameron in Virgin River where he moves. Lots of good stuff happen in this sixth book of the Virgin River series.

I loved this one. So much happened - had to read the next one - Paradise Valley -  right away!!

From the author:
Shelby McIntyre has big plans—plans that include finding Mr. Right. Her dream man will have a clean-shaven jaw, creases in his pants and hopefully an advanced degree. What she gets is rugged Luke Riordan.
At twenty-five, after five years as her mother...s caregiver, it...s time for Shelby to experience freedom and adventure. Time for travel, college and romance. But when she visits Virgin River, she runs into Luke Riordan, decidedly not whom she has in mind.
A handsome Blackhawk pilot, Luke exited the army after twenty years, four wars and having been shot out of the sky three times. At thirty-eight he...s tough and jaded. His major was in one-night stands, with a minor in commitment avoidance.
Technically, these two are all wrong for one another. But sometimes what you want and what you need are two different things...two very good things.

Shelby was within ten miles of her Uncle Walt's ranch when she had to pull over to the side of highway 36, the busiest stretch between Virgin River and Fortuna, behind an old pickup truck that looked vaguely familiar. Although 36 was the highway that ran across the mountains from Red Bluff to Fortuna, it was mostly two lane. She put her cherry-red Jeep SUV in Park and stepped out of the vehicle. The rain had finally stopped, giving way to a bright summer sun, but the road was wet and splattered with muddy puddles. She peered way up the road to see a man wearing a bright orange vest holding a stop sign toward a long string of cars, closing both lanes. The turnoff to her Uncle Walt's would be on the other side of the next hill.
She picked her way around puddles to the truck parked in front of her, intending to ask the driver if he knew what was going on. When she got to the driver's window she smiled. “Well, hey, Doc.”
Doc Mullins looked out the open window. “Hey, yourself, little girl. Up here for a weekend of riding?” he asked with his usual grumpy tone.
“Not this time, Doc. I sold my mother's house in Bodega Bay,” she said. “Packed up the bare essentials and am moving in with Uncle Walt for a while.”
“Nah. For a few months, though. I'm still in transition.”
Doc's grimace melted slightly, but only slightly. “Once again, condolences on your loss, Shelby,” he said. “I hope you're doing all right with that.”
“Better all the time, thanks. My mom was ready to go.” She tilted her head up the road. “Have any idea what's holding us up here?”
“Soft shoulder gave out,” he said. “I passed it on my way to Valley Hospital. Dumped half this lane down the hill. They're repairing.”
“Guardrails would be nice,” she observed.
“Only around the tight curves,” he said. “On a straightaway like this, we're on our own. Damn lucky a car or truck didn't go with that soft shoulder. It's going to be like this the next few days.”
“Once I get to Walt's, I'm not planning to be on this road again, for a while anyway,” she said with a shrug.
“What are you planning, if I might ask?” Doc said, lifting one of his bushy eyebrows.
“Well, while I'm visiting the family, I'll be making applications to schools. Nursing,” she said with a smile. “A fairly obvious choice for me after taking care of my mother for years.”
“Ach, just what I need,” he said with his usual scowl. “Another nurse. Drive me to drink.”
She laughed at him. “At least we won't have to drive you far.”
“There's just what I mean. Another impertinent one, at that,” he clarified.
She laughed again, loving this ornery old guy. Shelby turned, Doc leaned out of his window and both of them watched a man approach from the truck that had stopped behind Shelby's Jeep. He walked toward them. His hair was shaved down in that military fashion she'd been accustomed to all her life; her uncle was a retired army general. A black T-shirt was stretched tight over broad, hard shoulders, his waist narrow, his hips slim and legs long. But what fascinated her was the way he came toward them, with an economy of movement. Deliberate. Confident. Cocky. His thumbs were hooked into front pockets and he sauntered. When he got closer, she could see his very slight smile as he looked at her, or looked her over, to be more precise. Sizing her up with glowing eyes. In your dreams, she thought, which caused her to smile back.
As he passed her Jeep, he glanced inside at all the packed-up boxes, then continued to where she was standing beside Doc's open window. “That yours?” he asked, jutting his chin toward the Jeep.
“Where are you headed?” he asked.
“Virgin River. You?”
“The same.” He grinned. “Any idea what's going on up there?”
“Collapsed shoulder,” Doc said with a grunt. “They have us down to one lane for repairs. What's your business in Virgin River?”
“I have some old cabins along the river there.” He glanced between them. “You two live in the town?” he asked.
“I have family there,” Shelby said. She stuck out her hand. “I'm Shelby.”
He took her small hand. “Luke. Luke Riordan.” He turned toward Doc, putting out his hand again. “Sir?”
Doc didn't extend a hand, but rather gave a nod. His hands were so twisted with arthritis, he never risked a handshake. “Mullins,” he said.
“Doc Mullins has lived in Virgin River all his life. He's the town doctor,” Shelby explained to Luke.
“Nice to meet you, sir,” Luke said.

To read more, click here.
Pages: 441
Published: 2009