Thursday, November 30, 2017

Close Contact (Book Review)

Title: Close Contact, A Body Armor Novel
Author: Lori Foster
Publication: Harlequin Paperback, November 2017
Genre: Romance

Plot: After inheriting her grandmother’s isolated farmhouse, Maxi Nevar is trying to make it her home despite some odd events that make her wonder if she has a poltergeist. But when she wakes up in a nearby field with no memory of how she got there, she is smart enough to realize she needs professional help. Unfortunately, the logical choice, Miles Dartman, is the man with whom she had several one night stands, then ignored, so it is more than a little awkward to pursue him to his new employer. It turns out that Matt, a former Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) Fighter, has just become a bodyguard with Body Armor, a personal security agency, run by the glamorous Sahara Silver. Although Miles is still angry that Maxi blew him off, he is immediately protective of her, plus can’t wait to have sex with her again, so is all too willing to move in with her. From that point, while the stalking and other dangerous events keep on coming, at least Maxi is pleasurably distracted by her own personal martial arts expert while they try to figure out who wants her to disappear. . .

Audience: Fans of romantic suspense. Enter the Rafflecopter Sweepstakes for a chance to win a copy:
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Purchase Links: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound

My Impressions: Lori Foster is one of those authors I always meant to read so I was pleased when TLC Book Tours invited me to participate in this tour. This was a fun, quick read with appealing characters, who have abundant chemistry, and a dramatic denouement. Although a big sports fan, I had to look up MMA and am amused by the concept of a bodyguard company consisting of martial arts experts, somewhere near Kentucky (given this is a series, there is clearly a lot more going on in this part of the world than I would have guessed to occupy this group of excessively attractive men!). In this instance, a private investigator would have been more useful in determining which of the people in Maxi’s life was tormenting her - although he might not have been as sexy as Miles (tell me, however, why it is considered appealing for a man not to wear underwear?). Where Foster is most successful is in depicting the friendship among this group of guys, most of whom appear to be former fighters and were featured in previous books in the series (you may want to go back and start this series in proper order but it stood alone fairly well).  Foster did a good job in creating motives for several potential bad guys although the real perp was fairly obvious to me, if not to Miles and the oddly named Maxi. While the haunted house/stalker plot was not very exciting, the book passed the test of making me want to read more of the series – Sahara was the most intriguing character in the book, both her personality and her determination to find her missing brother, and I will definitely read her story when it comes out, next in the series!
Source: Thanks to TLC Book Tour for providing me a pre-publication copy of this book by the publisher for review purposes. Please check out other stops on the tour below:
Monday, November 20th: From the TBR Pile
Tuesday, November 21st: Bewitched Bookworms
Wednesday, November 22nd: Recommended Romance
Thursday, November 23rd: Books, Coffee & Passion
Friday, November 24th: What Is That Book About – excerpt
Monday, November 27th: Evermore Books
Monday, November 27th: Books a la Mode – excerpt
Monday, November 27th: Stranded in Chaos
Tuesday, November 28th: Cara’s Book Boudoir
Tuesday, November 28th: Sultry Sirens Book Blog – excerpt
Wednesday, November 29th: Reading Reality
Thursday, November 30thThoughts of a Blond
Friday, December 1stSmexy Books
Monday, December 4thThe Sassy Bookster
Monday, December 4thNatalie the Biblioholic
Tuesday, December 5thOMG Reads
Tuesday, December 5thOf Pens and Pages
Wednesday, December 6thJathan & Heather
Thursday, December 7thAll Things Bookaholic.
Friday, December 8thCheryl’s Book Nook
Monday, December 11thMoonlight Rendezvous
Monday, December 11thNightbird Novels
Tuesday, December 12thBooks & Spoons
Wednesday, December 13thMystery Suspense Reviews
Thursday, December 14thBooks and Bindings
Friday, December 15thBecky on Books

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Not Now, Not Ever (Book Review)

Title: Not Now, Not Ever
Author: Lily Anderson
Publication: Wednesday Books/Macmillan, Hardcover, 2017
Genre: Young Adult
Interview: I am so pleased to interview Lily for Staircase Wit!

SW: I loved The Only Thing Worse Than Me Is You, and am eager to read your new book which I know is inspired by The Importance of Being Earnest, my all time favorite play. What inspired you to do retellings of classics?
LA: I have always loved retellings—pretty much since the first time I read Jon Scieszka’s Stinky Cheese Man picture book when I was little. Even now, I read pretty much every fairy tale and classic literature retelling I come across. But I wasn’t finding retellings of the things that I loved—plays. I’m a lifelong theater geek. Certain plays—like Much Ado About Nothing and The Importance Of Being Earnest—have stuck around just as long, if not longer, than other stories being retold. Their themes still resonate with audiences all over the world, every day. It seemed silly to me that they weren’t being transformed into YA novels. And I waited and looked around before I decided to do it myself! 
SW: You seem to understand the ups and downs of teen friendship. Do you have any friends who have lasted since teendom?
LA: I actually have a lot of friends that I met when I was a teen! My group of closest friends all met doing youth theater together and we’ve stayed close ever since, which means that we have been through the highest highs and lowest lows between middle school and adulthood. Teen friendships can be hard because everything is SO INTENSE when you’re a teen, but finding the right group of people who won’t bail when things get hard is key. 

SW: What were your favorite books when you were a teen?
LA: Whew. Well, get ready for me to date myself because I was into some early aughts club bangers. I loved The Princess Diaries, Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, and Francesca Lia Block’s Weetzie Bat books. I was super obsessed with The Outsiders (although I somehow never saw the movie?). And I was reading a lot of comics and manga—mostly Ranma ½, Kodocha, and anything from the X-Men universe.

SW: From your website, I can make some guesses about books you like to recommend as a librarian – are there any hidden gems you can share?
LA: I’m an elementary school librarian, so I get kind of shouty about great middle grade novels. Everyone should be reading Anne Ursu, Grace Lin, Varian Johnson, Natalie Lloyd, Sheila Turnage, Kat Yeh, Megan Morrison, and Mac Barnett. 

SW:  Great, some new authors for me!  I also see you are a fan of Little Women (if you have never visited Orchard House, I volunteer to take you on a tour when you next visit Boston), have you read one of my favorites, The Diamond in the Window by Jane Langton – also set in Concord?
LA: OMG, visiting Orchard House is literally my greatest dream. I’ve never been to Massachusetts—I actually only visited the East Coast for the first time this year when I went to New York Comic Con!—but I will get there and will totally take you up on that tour guide. I haven’t read The Diamond in the Window, but I will put it at the top of my TBR! I love old-school kids’ books.

SW: What do readers tell you is their favorite thing about your books?
LA: I usually get people repeating back their favorite jokes from the book, which I love because those are also my parts I like best, too. 

Thank you, Lily!   Keep me posted on your travel plans to Boston!
Click to enter a Rafflecopter giveaway through 11/22/17.

Plot: Elliot Gabaroche does not want to spend the summer at home in Sacramento or attend mock trail camp at UCLA. And she certainly isn't going to the Air Force summer program on her mother's base in Colorado Springs. What she is going to do is pack up her attitude, her favorite Octavia Butler novels, and her Jordans, and go to summer camp. Specifically, a cutthroat academic-decathlon-like competition for a full scholarship to Rayevich College, the only college with a Science Fiction Literature program. And she's going to start over as Ever Lawrence, on her own terms, without the shadow of all her family’s expectations. Because why do what’s expected of you when you can fight other genius nerds to the death for a shot at the dream you’re sure your family will consider a complete waste of time?

My Impressions: This book is so new I don’t yet have a copy – can’t wait! You can buy it from Barnes & Noble, IndieBound, Amazon, or at your favorite bookstore.

About the Author: Lily Anderson is an elementary school librarian and Melvil Dewey fangirl with an ever-growing collection of musical theater tattoos and Harry Potter ephemera. She lives in Northern California, far from her mortal enemy: the snow.

Please visit other stops on the Fantastic Flying Book Club tour:

November 14th

November 15th

the bookdragon - Review

November 16th

YAWednesdays - Guest Post
Amanda Gernentz Hanson - Review + Favourite Quotes

November 17th

BookCrushin - Guest Post
Book Munchies - Review + Favourite Quotes

November 18th

November 19th

We Live and Breathe Books - Review + Favourite Quotes

November 20th

The Mind of a Book Dragon - Review + Playlist

November 21st

Boricuan Bookworms - Review + Playlist

Sunday, November 5, 2017

The Whispering Mountain (Book Review) #1968Club

The 1968 Club is a meme created by Simon from Stuck in a Book, who chose a literary year and has encouraged other bloggers to read up and post on books published that year.  Check out all the reviews here!  When I realized the other book I had chosen, Cousin Kate, had been reviewed by several people, I wanted to pick something not previously included, hence:
Title: The Whispering Mountain
Author: Joan Aiken
Publication:  Jonathan Cape, hardcover, 1968
Genre: Children’s fantasy/historical fiction/speculative fiction – part of the twelve book Wolves Chronicles that begins with the beloved The Wolves of Willoughby Chase.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Cousin Kate (Book Review) #1968Club

What is the 1968 Club, you ask?  It is a year mostly remembered for tragedy.  Simon from Stuck in a Book chose a year, 1968, and has encouraged other bloggers to read up and post on books published that year for the #1968 Club.  This is a fun way to be exposed to a lot of interesting books, some of which I have heard of and some not.   The last time I participated it was 1951 and I reread All-of-A-Kind Family.
Title: Cousin Kate
Author: Georgette Heyer
Publication: Dutton Hardcover, 1968; my edition is a Bantam paperback
Genre: Historical Romance/Regency/Gothic