Monday, April 29, 2013

Rescue Me by Rachel Gibson


Lovett, Texas #3

          I really liked this book. I laughed and cried. And, I'm very glad I had a couple of slow nights in a row at work so I could read it in big chunks. The characters are vivid - even the secondary characters are distinct and memorable.

          Mercedes Johanna Hollowell - Sadie Jo to everyone in the little town of Lovett, TX - escaped the cattle ranch where she grew up as soon as she could. Her momma died when she was five, and her father was a hard, distant sort of man. She wandered the country, taking classes at numerous colleges without earning a degree and working numerous jobs without creating a career. She likes men a lot, but is not good at relationships. She has not been home in five years when she is asked to be a bridesmaid at her cousin's wedding. It would be rude to say no, so she heads back toward Lovett with the intent of leaving again the moment the wedding is over.

          Vince Haven is a former Navy SEAL whose Aunt Lurleen owns the Gas and Go in Lovett. She has asked him to come down for a visit. Until very recently, Vince had been living in Seattle near his sister and her son, helping to raise the boy. It's been just Vince and his sister since their mother died a few years earlier. Their father walked out when they were very young. But now his sister’s baby daddy has reappeared wanting to be a part of their lives, and his she is planning her belated wedding. Vince is at loose ends at the moment and heads down to Texas to accept Aunt Lurleen’s invitation.

          Vince's truck breaks down near the turn off to the Hollowell ranch, and Sadie sees him on the side of the road as she approaches home. She gives him a lift into town. Sparks soon fly between the two, but since neither of them is planning to be in town long, they figure it is a match made in heaven.

          Events conspire to keep each of them in Lovett much longer than originally intended. Their no-strings fling becomes a friends-with-benefits deal and without their noticing turns into an actual relationship. Both panic when they realize what is happening, and they nearly blow their chance at happily ever after. But they manage to rescue each other in the end.

Friday, April 26, 2013

A Night Like This by Julia Quinn


The Smythe-Smith Quartet #2

          What a fun book! The Smythe-Smith stories remind me a lot of Julie Garwood's early books: fast-paced, a little zany, with very memorable characters.

          I grabbed this book on the way to work, not really paying attention to what it was. Early in the first chapter, I found myself at the ever-awful Smythe-Smith musicale and immediately recognized the territory.

          This book follows Daniel Smythe-Smith and the love that blooms between him and his niece's governess, Anne Wynter. Daniel is an Earl. Anne is a ruined woman, thrown out by her family and not even using her own name. Their escapades as Daniel attempts to entice Anne into his life and Anne attempts to steer him away from her are antic and quite entertaining.

           The Smythe-Smith clan continues to be tale-worthy in this second installment. I can’t wait to read the third book.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Storm by Clive Cussler and Graham Brown

NUMA files #10

          This was a good book to while away a few hours with. It was fast paced and fun to read. I'm pretty sure all the basic technology really exists, but its usage was stretched to the breaking point in this story.

          In the latest Kurt Austin thriller, a Bedouin bent on world domination finds a way to control the weather. He discovers that using vast numbers of microbots he can control ocean temperatures and by extension, the weather. NUMA stumbles on the plot when a crew performing routine checks in the Indian Ocean goes missing. The NUMA vessel shows up sans crew with evidence of a fire. The residue from the fire had something odd in it and further investigation uncovered the presence of microbots.

          NUMA immediately goes looking for the man who patented the bots. He lives on a giant floating island populated largely by robots of his own invention. As it turns out, it is not the inventor who has using the microbots for evil, but his right hand man who has sold the technology for his own profit.

          The gang from NUMA must secure the floating island, prevent the Bedouin megalomaniac from taking out the biggest dam in Egypt and prevent the microbots from altering weather patterns all around the Indian Ocean. It makes for lots of action and good, wet fun.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Winter of the World by Ken Follett


Century Trilogy #2

          This is another of Follett's extremely well written books. His books tend to be very long, but well worth the time. His stories are complex, but compelling. I'm not entirely sure I liked this story, but it stuck with me. It made enough of an impression that I dreamed about it. This is not a "fun" book, but it is a good one.

          This part of the trilogy involves the years leading up to WWII through the start of the Cold War. This was a particularly dark era in the history of mankind. Man's inhumanity to man, while present from the dawn of time, was particularly widespread and virulent during that period. The book does a nice job of balancing the horror with the compassion and bravery. It explores the choices made by the individuals who chose to risk themselves for the greater good. And it shores up the idea that while democracy is not a perfect system, it is better than the alternatives, even if it allows us to vote it out of existence.

          This trilogy requires a commitment, but I know I've made worse ones. I would recommend starting with the first book, The Fall of Giants, because it is also a great book.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Stolen Prey by John Sandford


Lucas Davenport #22

          I've read quite a few of Sandford's Prey novels over the years. I like Lucas Davenport. I enjoy visiting with him for time to time.

          I enjoyed this story. I got a real kick out of the secondary story line that Virgil Flowers, another favorite character of mine, assists on.

          In this adventure, Davenport is faced with a Mexican drug cartel hit squad running loose in Minneapolis torturing and killing local residents. The initial question is what these apparently upstanding citizens have to do with drug cartels. Davenport's investigation quickly expands to include DEA agents as well as Mexican Federales. They eventually determine that the cartel has been using a Minnesota bank to move funds through and someone has figured out how to skim from their account.

          Davenport and company finally manage to track down the hackers and the hit squad but not before they show up on his own front porch.

          Thriller is an apt word to described this book. It was interesting and fast paced. I'm already looking forward to the next installment of this series.