Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Review-Don't Fail Me Now by Una LaMarche

Don't Fail Me NowDon't Fail Me Now by Una LaMarche
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Michelle Devereaux in a police department with her younger siblings Cass and Denny waiting with a social worker for their aunt to pick them up.  Their mother has been arrested.  Unfortunately, this is not the first time this has happened.  Her mother has been in jail several times and she hasn't seen her father in several years.  When Michelle finds out that her father is dying in California and may have something for her, she sets out on a journey that will hopefully end in a windfall for her and her siblings.

This was a great YA Novel.  A book about love, family and adventure.  Michelle and her siblings are black kids from Baltimore, Maryland.  Michelle knows that she and Cass have a half-sister, Leah, that is white, and that is about all the know about her.  Until she shows up with her step-brother at Michelle's job with information about their father.  With this new information and the current state of affairs, Michelle decides now is a good a time as any to drive across the country to see her father before he is no longer there.

Five kids, in an old station wagon are heading across the country without any of their parents being aware.  They have very little money and barely more than the clothes on their back, but they are determined to find Buck Devereaux and collect whatever it is he has for them.

Their adventure is not without some complications.  Will they make the journey successfully?  Will these siblings, Michelle, Cass, and Leah be able to build a relationship? Will they reunite with the father they barely know? How will this trip change their lives for the future?

One of the things that drew me to this book where the characters.  They were characters I could relate to, when I was that age and the kids are all from Maryland where I live.  Plus, who doesn't love a good road trip.  All of these factors made this an excellent book and something I would recommend to young adults from mixed racial backgrounds and diverse family dynamics.

**I received this book from the FirstToRead program through Penguin Books in exchange for an honest review.**

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Review-Debbie Doesn't Do It Anymore by Walter Mosley

Debbie Doesn't Do It Anymore by Walter Mosley
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Debbie Doesn't Do It Anymore is the story of a platinum blonde, African American porn star.  She is someone you would recognize everywhere.  When tragedy strikes, Debbie decides that she is no longer going to live this life and try for the straight and narrow.  The road to get there though is long and has quite a few bumps along the way.

This was a very explicit novel by Walter Mosley.  Every word imaginable to describe the male and female genitalia was used.  This did not bother me at all, but I wanted to let others who may be offended by that type of language.  This was a very real look into the porn industry for me.  Sure I have seen some porn in my life, not an avid watcher at all, but it's interesting to know a back story.  Debbie grew up as Sandra Peal in California.   She met Theon Pinckney, her husband, when she was just a girl, and he changed her world forever.  When Deb comes home from a most unusual movie shoot, she finds police and paramedics at her home.  Her husband had been found dead in their bathtub, with another woman, or girl is more appropriate.  This doesn't upset Debbie as you would think, she was used to this kind of behavior from her husband, especially being in the industry that they were in.  The death of her husband also, to Debbie, meant the death of her career.  She changed her whole look so that she was no longer recognizable on the streets or even to some of her "friends".  She went back to using her real name instead of the stage name of Debbie Dare.

This book was quite entertaining.  I found myself looking over my shoulder whenever the explicit words were announced to see if anyone around me was listening out.  This book gives you a different look at porn stars and the life they lead.  I recommend this book for anyone who is not easily upset by pornographic language.

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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Review-The Gates of Evangeline by Hester Young

The Gates of EvangelineThe Gates of Evangeline by Hester Young
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Charlotte Cates has started having dreams about young children now that her son has passed away.  She is not sure what these dreams mean, but when they start to come to fruition, she sees that she may have a gift she may not really want.  Sent to Louisiana to write a book about the abduction of young Gabriel Deveau, she believes she knows what has happened to him from one of her dreams.  Will she be able to find out what happened to this boy?  What other dreams will she have before she gets the answers she is looking for?

I started this book and at first I couldn't get into it.  I put it down for a couple of weeks and then picked it back up.  I'm so glad that I did.  While some parts of this book were a little bit predictable, this was an overall good read.  I was invested in the story and I was desperate to know what was going to happen to Charlotte, or Charlie as she likes to be called.

After the death of her own child, she was lost and unsure about how to continue her life.  She wasn't really into her job and then came the opportunity arose for her to write about something, she thought she had first hand knowledge about.  Leaving her home in Connecticut to live at Evangeline, the estate where Gabriel went missing, she uncovers a lot about the Deveau family that she never knew was possible.

At 75% I literally felt my heart begin to race. And it was difficult to put the book down from then on.  Highly recommended.

**I received a copy of this book from FirstToRead, through Penguin Publishers in exchange for my review.**

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Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Review--Don't Go by Lisa Scottoline

Don't GoDon't Go by Lisa Scottoline
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Dr. Matt Scanlon is on tour in Afghanistan when he receives the call that his wife, Chloe,  has died in an unfortunate household accident.  He rushes home to take care of her funeral arrangements and get care for their 7 month old daughter, Emily.  When he returns home, nothing seems the same.  And it's not only because Chloe is no longer there.  Going through her things, he makes a startling discovery that will cloud his mind for a long time.  Leaving the care of his daughter to his in-laws, Bob and Danielle, he returns to finish his tour of duty and try to make sense of all that he has learned about his wife.

This book really had me intrigued from the very beginning.  I gasped out loud several times while listening to this book.  Just when you think you know what is going to happen next, you are pulled in the completely opposite direction.  There are a lot of twists and turns throughout this book.    A man on mission trying to find out what was really going on with his wife while he was away.   He is trying to build a bond with his daughter who doesn't know him at all, and with him being away, it doesn't help.  Trying to find out who his wife had become after she had become a mother and a military wife.

This book will keep you on your toes and you will never know what is going to happen next.  You think you do, as I thought I did, but you will soon find out that you are wrong.  The surprises keep coming straight on until the end.  I think this is a book everyone should grab.  This is the first I have read by Lisa Scottoline, and she has been on my radar for a while.  I will continue to read and enjoy her books.

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Wednesday, September 2, 2015

One Author Challenge-Love In A Nutshell by Janet Evanovich & Dorien Kelly

Love in a Nutshell by Janet Evanovich
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Kate Appleton is at a point in her life where things couldn't possibly be worse.  She is currently living in Keene's Harbor in Michigan in an attempt to fix up her parent's summer home into a Bed and Breakfast before the new mortgage holder takes over.

Matt Culhane is at a point in his life where things couldn't be better.  His Depot Brewery and restaurant is doing great and he has plans for more businesses in the very near future.  He does have one small problem, though.  Someone seems to be after him.

After being fired from her job Kate starts working for Matt as a "floater" and spy.  It's her job to find the saboteur in the establishment as well as help out where she is needed.  What will happen between them during this time?

I didn't dive into this book the way I thought I would when I got this book from the library.  Trying to continue my Janet Evanovich challenge this was the next book I picked up.  I started with the Stephanie Plum series, but I am waiting for Three to Get Deadly to become available.

Mostly this was a cute story that held my interest at certain parts.  About half way through, the excitement picked up and helped to carry me to the end.  I like Kate's character and she seemed like someone I would be friends with.  The same with Matt.  He is not your typical guy, he is a true gentleman that genuinely care for those around him.  He's the kind of guy every woman wants.  This was not one of my favorites, but I am not giving up on my challenge.

The next book I'm going to read for the Challenge is The Husband List which is also co-authored by Dorien Kelly.  I got this from the library at the same time as this book.  I'm going to take a small break from JE for a while though and switch to something different.

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