Friday, December 16, 2011

Review: High Noon by Nora Roberts

Title: High Noon
Author: Nora Roberts

Read copy: Paperback
Published: June 5, 2008
Publisher: Piatkus Books
ISBN: 0749938986
ISBN-13: 9780749938987

Police Lieutenant Phoebe MacNamara found her calling at an early age when an unstable man broke into her family's home, trapping and terrorizing them for hours. Now she's Savannah's top hostage negotiator, defusing powderkeg situations with a talent for knowing when to give in--and when to jump in and take action. It's satisfying work--and sometimes those skills come in handy at home dealing with her agoraphobic mother, still traumatized by the break-in after all these years, and her precocious seven-year-old, Carly.

It's exactly that heady combination of steely courage and sensitivity that first attracts Duncan Swift to Phoebe. After observing her coax one of his employees down from a roof ledge, he is committed to keeping this intriguing, take-charge woman in his life. She's used to working solo, but Phoebe's discovering that no amount of negotiation can keep Duncan at arm's length.

And when she's grabbed by a man who throws a hood over her head and brutally assaults her--in her own precinct house--Phoebe can't help but be deeply shaken. Then threatening messages show up on her doorstep, and she's not just alarmed but frustrated. How do you go face-to-face with an opponent who refuses to look you in the eye?

Now, with Duncan backing her up every step of the way, she must establish contact with the faceless tormentor who is determined to make her a hostage to fear...before she becomes the final showdown.

My rating:

Do it to me one more time, once is never enough...

Okay, the song has nothing to do with the book, but this part of the lyrics describe very well, what I think of when I finish a NR book (and it's not about the sex, get your minds out of the gutter, it's the simple fact that once I finish one I want to immediately start the next - on(c)e is never enough).

This one was no different. The strong heroine, a strong, supportive, funny and sexy hero, great plot, wonderful writing, gripping suspense, and a twisted villain.

Loved it and now I want to read another. If only I could decide which one. ;)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Review: The Search by Nora Roberts

Title: The Search
Author: Nora Roberts

Read copy: Mass Market Paperback
Published: April 12, 2011
Publisher: Jove
ISBN: 0515149489
ISBN-13: 9780515149487

To most people, Fiona Bristow seems to have an idyllic life-a quaint house on an island off Seattle's coast, a thriving dog-training school, and a challenging volunteer job performing canine search and rescues. Not to mention her three intensely loyal Labs. But Fiona got to this point by surviving a nightmare...

Several years ago, Fiona was the only survivor of the Red Scarf serial killer, who shot and killed Fiona's cop fiancé and his K-9 partner.

On Orcas Island, Fiona found the peace and solitude she needed to rebuild her life. But all that changes on the day Simon Doyle barrels up her drive, desperate for her help. He's the reluctant owner of an out-of-control puppy, foisted upon him by his mother. Jaws has eaten through Simon's house, and he's at his wit's end.

To Fiona, Jaws is nothing she can't handle. Simon, however, is another matter. A newcomer to Orcas, he's a rugged and in-tensely private artist, known for the exquisite furniture he creates from wood. Simon never wanted a puppy-and he most definitely doesn't want a woman. Besides, the lanky redhead is not his type. But tell that to his hormones.

As Fiona embarks on training Jaws, and Simon begins to appreciate both dog and trainer, the past tears back into Fiona's life. A copycat killer has emerged out of the shadows, a man whose bloodlust has been channeled by a master with one motive: to reclaim the woman who slipped out of his hands...

My rating:

And Ms. Roberts does it (yet) again. I wonder how she accomplishes that? I want to be Nora Roberts when I grow up. I want to be Nora Roberts in my next life. This woman's writing is absolutely amazing.

What I love most about her books is the 'equality' between hero and heroine. Don't expect to find a damsel-i-distress heroine when you open a NR book, and don't expect to find a chest-thumping hero either.
Sure, Simon was a bit on the brooding type, but just enough to keep it real, and though Fiona came off as a bit annoying at times (yes, we know you're strong, we hear you roar, but it wouldn't hurt to let someone help you from time to time), the balance between them was excellently written.
And they literally came alive on the page—along with their four furry companions.

And don't get me started on the whole banter thing, because we might be here until next week. I just love how NR writes her dialogs between hero and heroine—the humor, the spunk, the sass, the sexiness of it all...It really reads like a verbal foreplay. Love it.

I missed a bit more time in the killer's mind (I can't believe I'm writing this, but I did), but this little hiccup didn't deter from my overall enjoyment of the book. And it most certainly won't lower the rating.

5+ stars!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Review: Contest by Matthew Reilly

Title: Contest
Author: Matthew Reilly

Read copy: Paperback
Published: January 1, 2010
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
ISBN: 0330513427
ISBN-13: 9780330513425

The New York Public Library. A silent sanctuary of knowledge; a 100-year-old labyrinth of towering bookcases, narrow aisles and long marble hallways. For Doctor Stephen Swain and his daughter, Holly, it is the site of a nightmare. Because for one night this historic building is to be the venue for a contest. A contest in which Swain is to compete - whether he likes it or not.The rules are simple: Seven contestants will enter, only one will leave. With his daughter in his arms, Stephen Swain is plunged into a terrifying fight for survival. The stakes are high, the odds brutal. He can choose to run, to hide or to fight - but if he wants to live, he has to win. For in this contest, unless you leave as the victor, you do not leave at all.

My rating:

This was the first book Matthew Reilly published—before Ice Station and I must say I was rather disappointed. Don't get me wrong, it had all the usual MR elements (the non-stop action, thrills and chills galore...), but there was just something missing...The reality check.

Yeah, I know, the Scarecrow books also need quite a lot of suspension of disbelief, but at least the aforementioned Marine is trained to fight and he fights human enemies.

Steven Swain, hero of Contest is an M.E. and he fights aliens. Yes, you read correctly—he fights aliens in a seven-contestants contest held the New York Public Library. Seven contestants enter, only one will come out (maybe).

It was good, but it was a little too out there for me.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Review: Ice Station by Matthew Reilly

Title: Ice Station
Series: Shane Schofield
Author: Matthew Reilly
Read copy: Paperback
Published: January 1, 2010
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
ISBN: 033051346X
ISBN-13: 9780330513463

A team of U.S. scientists makes an amazing discovery at an ice station in Antarctica: something buried deep within the coastal ice shelf; something made of metal . . . something worth killing for.

My rating:

The first in the series about Marine Lieutenant Shane M. Schofield, call-sign Scarecrow. I read Scarecrow a few months ago and loved it from the start, so I was curious as to what the start of the series was like.

Let me tell you, it was as good as the third book in the series. It pulls the reader in and it doesn't spit him/her out until the very end. Engrossing, gripping, action-packed, sometimes you'll even need some suspension of disbelief, let me tell you, but I absolutely enjoyed the ride.

The action was wonderful, the suspense gripping, the plot flowed effortlessly, the characters were great (I still love 'Mother' best), the mystery kept on, the intrigue was thrilling...It kept me guessing and at the edge of my seat for the entire duration.

Loved it from beginning to end and I can't wait to start the second book.