Sunday, 25 July 2010

Karen Rose Romantic Thrillers

As a writer of Romantic Thrillers Karen Rose has got to be one of the best, and believe you me, I read a lot of authors and a lot of books. I have now read every one of her books and have enjoyed every last one of them. She has a good grasp of words and uses them to excellent effect, drawing the reader into the story, and bringing it to life. Both the thriller and the romantic aspects are well written and compliment each other well. My only caveat to this, and this is a personal thing, is that I could do without the graphic sex scenes which I feel detract from the story line. It's a shame, as without them I believe these books would be much better. However, I realise others may disagree with me.

Her latest book, Silent Scream, is the story of David Hunter (a firefighter) who we met in previous novels, and Olivia Sutherland who we met in Karen's last book. However, if you have not read any of the previous novels this is not a problem as this book can be read truly as a stand alone novel. For those of you who have read the previous books you will enjoy reading David and Olivia's story. The plot revolves around a group of four young people who set fire to a building and then discover that there is the body of a young girl inside. They think they have got away with this but are then blackmailed by someone who videoed the whole incident. The plot is, of course, much more intricate and involved than this and Karen unfolds the story like the true professional she is. Alongside this is the story of David and Olivia's relationship, which is as complex as the murder plot. I found myself liking them and rooting for them all the way. I can't say too much about the other characters without giving the plot away, but trust me, every character comes across as true to life. I found both story lines to be gripping and I could not put this novel down. In this book there is slightly less emphasis on the sex and I believe the book is the better for it. It is easier to get caught up in the romance of the storyline and concentrate on what is happening in the thriller.

I would highly recommend all of Karen Rose's books. She is an excellent author with a good sense of plot, and a highly developed sense of what will keep the reader reading. I look forward to her next book. If you like thrillers with an element of romance then get these books. You wont regret it.  

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Stephanie Plum

For various reasons I have been out of the picture, as far as blogging is concerned, for the past few weeks. This has given me a lot of time to read and the latest Stephanie Plum Novel by Janet Evanovich has reminded me of everything I love about these books. The latest, Sizzling Sixteen, is as madcap and hilarious as the fifteen previous offerings. Those of you who love these novels will know what I mean.

For those of you, where the books have managed to slip under your radar, then here is a brief resume. Stephanie Plum is a rather hapless and eccentric bounty hunter, who, despite managing to be rather hopeless at her job, still manages to get her ma or woman as the case may be. She has an on again, off again boyfriend, a cop called Joe Morelli. Her other love interests are a sexy Cuban called Ranger, and someone called Deisel who seems to appear from nowhere every now and again. The cast of characters surrounding her become more and more eccentric, my two favourites being Lula and Grandma Mazur. Lula is an ex prostitute turned file clerk, who "helps" Stephanie catch her skips. Her giant size body, squeezes into a vast array of midget size clothes. Grandma Mazur, is Stephanie's mad grandmother who I wouldn't even start to describe. If I say one of her favourite pursuits is going to viewings at funeral parlours and causing havoc you should get the drift.

In this book Vinnie who owns the bail bond agency has been kidnapped and the kidnappers are looking for a ransom to return him. Stephanie, Lula and Connie (the office secretary) set out to find him with a little help from Morelli, Ranger and a supporting cast of Hobbits. No I am not joking. I laughed until my sides were aching.

If you find you want to read these books and haven't done so before then start with one for the money and work your way up until you reach sixteen. You wont regret it. Janet Evanovich has a rare talent. As an aside, one for the money is being made into a film starring Katherine Heigl. I had a little difficulty imagining it at first as Katherine is Blonde and Stephanie is a dark haired Italian. However, a makeover is afoot and I think it will work. More details here.

Stephanie Plum Movie

I personally can't wait for the movie to come out as it will be just as hysterical as the books I am sure.

Monday, 7 June 2010

Hannah Alexander

Hannah Alexander is the pen name of a husband a wife team who write christian novels. I had not read any of their books before but having read alot of really gory books recently I felt the need for something different and a bit lighter. They have written many books but I started with an ER trilogy the titles of which are, in order:

Sacred Turst Cover    Solemn Oath Cover      Silent Pledge cover
These books were written in 2009 but have been reprinted. Copies can be obtained direct from the authors' Website or from Amazon who have second hand copies quite cheaply. 

These books are set around a busy ER department in a small town in America, and details the lives of both the staff who live there and the patients they treat. The main characters are Dr Lukas Bower and Dr Mercy Richmond. These novels are both easy to read and packed with detail and I found myself wanting to know more about the characters. As I say, these are Christian novels and many of the characters are Christians. However, they are pportrayed realistically, and they have their own foibles and troubles. However, their faith shines through despite everything happening in their lives. There are those in the book who question God and his motives, and these are real and very honest questions. They are answered realistically and the authors do not sidestep the issues.

The medical side of things also seems to be very realistic, however, I am British so cannot give a definite yes on this as I don't know a lot about the American Health care system. There a re a range of different medical stories which are interesting and kept me gripped and reading.

The stories and the characters evolve throughout the books, and although they can be read individually, I feel that I got more out of them by reading them in order. Having started number one I felt that I couldn't put it down, and quickly moved on to the other two. By the end I felt as if I was part of their lives. These are well written books and enjoyable to read. My one and only criticism is that I felt that the very end of the last book was a bit rushed. There were a few sentences about what was happening to the characters in the future. I feel that this could have been developed a bit more, or even made into another book. Otherwise, very enjoyable and definitely recommended.

Thursday, 27 May 2010

The first one out of the box

It has taken me some time to write my first bookaholic book review, but this is not because I have not been reading. On the contrary I have read many books since my first post, my difficulty was in choosing where to start with these reviews. Which author to pick for my first one. It's a difficult decision to make. So, with a roll of drums, who did I decide on. The winner is...... Cody McFadyen.

Many of you may be saying who is he, and some of you might have read him already, but that's ok because there is plenty here for everyone. McFadyen has written a quartet of books about a female FBI profiler called Smoky Barrett. Smoky, having seen her husband and child killed by a serial killer, and having had her own face slashed in the process, has her own inner demons. However, I am getting ahead of myself at this stage. The four books are, in order:

Shadow Man - Amazon UK                   Amazon US
The Face of Death - Amazon UK           Amazon US
The Darker Side - Amazon UK              Amazon US
Abandoned - Amazon UK                      Amazon US
Although you could read these independently, I think they are much better read in order. This gives you a sense of continuity and the characters grow on you throughout the books as more of their character is revealed. Smoky, despite her obvious flaws, is a brilliant character, who manages to tug at the heartstrings. Not bad for a male writer, who is writing about women.

In the first book, Smoky is being targeted by a sadistic killer, who sends her a videotape of one of his crimes. The intense plot revolves around her trying to find the killer, through an edge of your seat ride. Smoky returns in book 2 hunting a serial killer who has taken a young woman's entire life from her. It is chilling and horrific, and somehow I couldn't seem to put it down. Moving swiftly on to book 3, which is what I did when I was reading them. Smoky finds herself hunting for yet another serial killer who knows what people's darkest secrets are and uses it to hunt them down and kill them. Again this is a roller coaster ride which I took clinging on to the sides, knowing I just had to keep going. In book 4 you will find yourself breathless yet again, whilst hurtling through the story of a young woman who has been missing for 8 years until she appears, thrown from a car, naked, in front of a wedding.

In each of these books the plot is complex, but extremely enjoyable. Cody McFadyen is a brilliant writer who manages to draw the reader in to the stories, and make them feel they are part of the action and the lives of the characters. I read these four books in very quick succession, and I am sure you will too if you choose to read them. Only one final thought. The last book, Abandoned, seemed to give the impression it was the end of the road for the series, but gave a slight hint they could continue. Should Cody be reading this, then please, please, please continue. Your fans need them.

Monday, 17 May 2010

Confessions of a Bookaholic

I have been blogging for some weeks now on Learning from Life which has mainly focussed on Using Technology, Web 2.0 and Social Media to support learning. However, I have to confess that I am also a Bookaholic. I think Amazon is the best site on the Internet and I cannot pass a bookshop without going through the door and cannot enter a bookshop without buying. Second hand book stalls draw me like a moth to a candle and I read at every opportunity. I think I am single handedly keeping my local library open. The Waterstones magazine is my favourite magazine. I follow authors on twitter and facebook. You get the gist, I am always thinking about books. When I am not thinking about technology that is. I cannot think of anything better than to blog about my 2 favourite subjects.

I haven't bought a book reader yet, and I am not sure that I ever will. There is nothing like the feel of a book in your hands and turning the pages. I also have this deep seated fear of being left without a book to read, so what would happen if the batteries ran out on an ebook reader. It makes me shiver just thinking about it. So good old, solid, in your hand books are my passion.

So what will this blog be about and what I am confessing. Firstly, my favourite types of books are

Mystery and Thriller
Christian Fiction
Christian Non Fiction
Chic Lit

As you can see an eclectic mixture. I will be blogging about the books I have read and my favourite authors of which there are many. I will be honest in my views and will recommend books where I think they are worth recommending. If I update as quickly as I read there could be a lot of updates on this blog.

So finally to my confession. I must have about 1000 books in my house which I have not yet read. That doesn't mean I don't read. It just means I buy books at a faster rate then I read them. I fully intend making inroads into these in the coming weeks, so watch this space.