The Search – Nora Roberts

The SearchThe Search by Nora Roberts

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It is pretty safe to say I’m a big fan of Nora Roberts. It’s kind of funny though, because her books follow the same basic pattern, but I always love the characters she writes, and their trades.

In The Search Fiona is a Dog Trainer, ultimately for search and rescue dogs. I really enjoyed the aspect of this the book and the way Nora Roberts goes into detail on how Fiona trains the dogs and what a big part of her life they are. Fiona is fun an witty. I just recently finished Angel Falls and I’m very happy that Fiona was a stronger person than Reece. Reece was okay, but I got tired of her pretty quickly. I LOVED Simon, almost as much as I love Luke Callahan from Honest Illusions. He was so perfectly calm and sarcastic about everything. He has his moments of passion, and when he does, whether it be because of love or anger, he was always wonderful. I laughed at him out loud while at work more than once.

What I WAS expecting, and what didn’t happen was an ending sort of similar to The Black Hills which I guess would have been sort of repetitive and predictable (especially since I was predicting it), but I loved the ending of that book that I guess I was rooting for it.

I listed to this via audio book, and must give props to the narrator, Tanya Eby. She was fantastic! The moment Simon said, “I love you,” had my heart dropping out, which is kind of funny since it was right in the middle of a fight. I love good audio readers, and I guess Tanya would end up on my “like” list.

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The Weight of Silence

The Weight of Silence The Weight of Silence by Heather Gudenkauf

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I am trying something new. This book was very good, and sucked me in from the very beginning, and I finished in the 2nd day of reading. I just couldn’t put it down. There was a discussion guide in the back of the book – so I decided to answer the questions in the discussion guide. So beware, while the discussion guide had done a fairly good job of not asking questions that give too much away – I’m sure that you will get a basic jest of the story and might consider the following spoilers!! Don’t read if you’re planning on reading the book!

1. Antonia describes herself as a bad mother while Louis reassures her that she is, indeed, a good mother. What evidence from the book supports each of their beliefs? How does Louis’s history with Antonia affect his own decisions as a husband and father?

Antonia is a good mother when it comes to almost everything that does not have to do with Griff. She plays with her kids, tells them stories, takes them for walks in the woods. Antonia has taken the advise of doctors and is working with Calli’s condition the best that she can. Unfortunately, where her husband’s concerned, Antonia has dropped the ball. While Griff may not mean to be abusive, and does not have intentions on hurting his kids, he does over and over again. Instead of looking at what he is doing and what he has done, Antonia chooses to turn a blind eye, thinking that ultimately Griff loves the kids and has no intention of hurting them.

From what we can tell in the book, Louis has dropped the ball in a desperate way. While it is obvious that Antonia still has affection for Louis, she has moved forward with her life and has continued to try and live the life that she wanted. Louis is in a constant looking back mode. He has moved back to his old town, even though as a young adult he indicated there was nothing there for him but Antonia, and it seems as though his thoughts and life might actually be preoccupied with Antonia. He is not seeing what he has, but is constantly looking at what he missed. Antonia shows she does that at times as well – but she is still right there with her family. Louis has shut his wife out of this part of his life, instead of communicating with her. He has put her in a situation where she will always feel second best. His fathering skills weren’t really addressed much, except by the wife – who says he’s never there for his son, Tanner. This could be a matter of perception, or it could be just another way Louis has shut out his current life as a result of living in the past.

2. Antonia and Louis’s long history together is integral to The Weight of Silence. As a deputy sheriff, what, if any, ethical or moral boundaries did Louis cross in search for Calli?

I’m not sure I can appropriately answer this question, as I’m not a cop and know nothing about protocol. Did Louis really break protocol when Calli showed up with Petra’s necklace? You’re dealing with panicked parents, would he have been able to stop Martin from going into the woods after her? In some cases I think it’s better to deal with people on a personal level than the impersonal take Officer Fitzgerald was taking. It eases some of the fear. But that’s just my take on it. I also didn’t feel like he was acting inappropriately toward Antonia, he was trying to help her. He may have been more emotionally involved himself than a cop should be on any case, but in small towns, is there a way not to be emotionally involved?

3. Ben and Calli grew up with an abusive, alcoholic father. Knowing that abuse is often passed from generation to generation, what do you think Ben’s and Calli’s chances of breaking the cycle of abuse in their future relationships? What instances from the book lead you to believe this?

This is a matter of the person, and the person’s decisions, as well as other factors. I also have an alcoholic father, and I also have a younger brother. In my instance, I have made the conscious decision to break the cycle. I saw what alcohol (and drugs) did to my family. I could see how my father changed when he drank. I saw the abuse that came as a result of that alcohol. I made the decision at a very young age that that was not how I wanted to live my life. My brother on the other hand was very young when my parents finally divorced, and did not get to witness as much as I did. His life was harder than mine in a lot of ways. He has recently shown signs that he is moving in the direction of substance abuse, but also since he was spared the chance to witness the physical abuse, he has not leaned in that direction at all. Lack of proper education has probably lead to him carrying on the cycle of substance abuse. Ben and Calli have both witnessed their father sober and drunk. He has felt the results of the abuse. Ben even timelines his father’s behavior by how many cans of beer he has drunk in the book. I feel for sure Ben has acknowledged the problem, and has the determination to move beyond the cycle. Calli, evidenced in her selective muteness, has a tendency to turn into herself and hide. I would think that she would be more likely to turn into substance abuse than Ben. She has also experienced the results of substance abuse, and seen it’s results. Ultimately, both of them have to make the choice not to do it. Especially in the teen years when there is so much peer pressure. I think it is in those years that one could loose control to the disease without even realizing it.

4. How does the death of Antonia’s mother play into the decisions Antonia made as a wife and mother? How do you think Antonia’s life would be different if her mother had lived?

Given that the last bit of advice Antonia’s mother gave to her was that the most important decision she had to make was her husband, and that it was more important to be a good wife than a good mother; I’d say her death played a lot into Antonia’s decisions for herself and her children. I’m a mother of 3 and happily married, and I still rely on my mother as a friend and I value her advise as a mother. Antonia’s mother could not have known what kind of marriage Antonia was going to get into. In fact, she had just assumed Antonia would marry Lou. Also, I feel her death played a huge role, because it is what ignited the fear in Antonia that Lou would leave her while at college, and she was afraid to be left waiting. She was losing people all around her and was feeling very scared, and not very self confident. Griff just happened along and made her feel loved and desired and he was there.

5. Martin Gregory, a proper, disciplined professor of economics, has always valued order, predictability and restraint in all areas of his life. How does his decision to seek retribution against the man he’s sure violated his daughter fit into his belief system?

Well, for starters, this man has broken that order and discipline. He has broken through the protection of everything being as it should be, and the safe feeling that comes with it. But also, I don’t think Martin was acting as that man at all. Rage and adrenaline was pounding through him, and the desire to protect (and the fact that he failed to protect) his daughter took over. Even he knew he wasn’t thinking straight.

6. Antonia, Louis, Martin and Petra’s perspectives are told in the first-person, present-tense point of view, while Calli’s is told in the third person, past tense. Why do you think the author decided to write the story this way?

Funny thing…I didn’t even notice this. I was so wrapped up into the story I didn’t care about what tense it was written in. Anyway, I suspect it’s because this is how Calli sees herself. She’s not a person with a voice, she is a story being told by someone else. She has lost control of her life, and can’t find it. Until then, it’s as if someone else is living (or reading) her life for her.

7. What does the title The Weight of Silence mean to you? How does the title relate to each of the main character’s lives?

Oh, this could take forever if I go through each character individually!!! Mainly I feel that Calli’s silence has affected many people around her. I think it probably intensified Griff’s anger and drinking problem. It has caused Antonia to question her parenting in areas that were she was actually doing a fine job, while at the same time she willingly ignored what she knew to be the problem. She blamed herself, but also admits (within her mind) that she has never asked what Griff said to her, or acknowledges that her husband has anything to do with it. She is constantly taking the blame and protecting Griff. Ben is left to the shadows. Lou is not communicating with his wife or living out the life that he has, living for the past. Martin and Fielda probably feel that their silence on their feelings toward Griff has lead to all of this, sucking their daughter into the mess.

8. Before Calli and Petra’s disappearance, the Willow Creek Woods was a haven for Calli, Ben and Toni. Calli, fearful of the forest after her ordeal, asks her mother if she ever got scared when walking in the woods. Toni replied, “It sent you back to me, didn’t it?” What did Toni mean by this?

Toni feels like the woods had nothing to do with the series of events. I also feel that they hold such good memories, right down to when Calli ran out okay for her view to be tainted. I think that she relied too heavily upon Ben and Calli’s knowledge and familiarity with the woods and failed to take a step back and realize how close to major danger Calli was in as a result of the cover of the woods.

9. Martin Gregory had worked so hard to leave behind his farming roots by becoming a college professor, but after Petra’s abduction and serious injuries, Martin subsequently moved with his family from Willow Creek to a farm. Why did Martin and Fielda decide to do this?

It what was best for them. Martin was familiar with farming, so he didn’t have to learn anything new. Petra likely needed more family support. It also probably is a way of shielding themselves from the outside world. The results of what happened to Petra is naturally to try and trap any bad thing out.

10. Toni describes Calli and Petra as “kindred spirits.” What makes their friendship so special? Do you think Calli and Petra’s friendship will last into adulthood? Why or why not? Who do you consider to be your kindred spirit? Why?

Calli and Petra understand each other, and they do not judge each other. Their differences do not get in the way of their friendship. I believe they have a lasting friendship, they have been through a lot with each other. While there might be falling-outs in the future, they will always be friends.

My husband would be the closest thing to a kindred spirit I have. He understands me, trusts me whole heartedly, and I him. We have a very loving and close bond that I can’t imagine ever growing old.

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Kissing Games of the World – Sandi Kahn Shelton

Kissing Games of the World by Sandi Kahn Shelton
Genre: Adult Fiction
Form: Paperback

Jamie is a free-spirited artist and devoted single mom with a slightly unorthodox living situation: in exchange for free rent, she looks after the grandson of her much older landlord. But when Harris Goddard dies of a heart attack–naked and splayed out in Jamie’s bed–nobody believes that he and Jamie were just roommates.

With the rumor mill buzzing and two small children to care for, Jamie’s life is further upended when Harris’s handsome son, Nate, a charismatic jet-setting salesman, shows up unannounced at his childhood home to settle the estate and reclaim the five-year-old son h left behind.

As Jamie’s and Nate’s highly guarded worlds collide, can these two damaged souls manage to see the good in each other…and maybe more?

Source: back of book

The Kissing Games of the World was an impulse buy at Target earlier this week. One of those, ‘hmmmm, this looks decent’ kind of days. I get most of my books via, which I highly suggest checking it out if you’ve not heard of it. Anyhow, so the book was very good. A very mild type of drama I was looking for. It was more about Jamie and Nate finding themselves than finding each other. Oh they “collided” a few times, and it was wonderful and beautiful, but what was more important was watching them grow as people. Nate especially, with his coming and learning to love his son, Christopher, and feel his way around parenthood. Sandi Kahn Shelton really hit the nail on the head with the children too, with their strange stories and millions of questions, and unpredictable behavior.

This is the type of book that sort of leaves you wanting more. You find out so much about Jamie, Nate, Christopher and Arley that you hate leaving them just when the getting get’s good. You want to watch a real relationship bloom between Jamie and Nate. I hate and love that about books. There is such an open end of story that you want it to be told, but if it kept going the book will just get long and boring – so it just can’t be done. I can’t say that Kissing Games of the World is going to stand out to me as a favorite, but I can say that I loved Sandi Kahn Shelton’s writing. There were lines in the book that really made an impact on me and on the story. This is something to truly admire in a book.

Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart – Beth Pattillo

Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart
by Beth Pattillo
Genre: Adult Fiction
Form: ARC Book

Claire Prescott doesn’t understand Mr. Darcy’s appeal. She’s been comfortably dating Neil, a nice – if a bit negligent – sports fanatic. But when she agrees to stand in for her sister at a Jane Austen seminar in Oxford, England, she finds herself holding a lost version of Pride and Prejudice. Scholars thought Austen’s original manuscript was destroyed centuries ago, but as Claire reads the first draft, Austen’s own struggle to find the right hero for Elizabeth Bennet.

And when a tall, dark, and dashing stranger crosses her path, will the staid Claire suddenly discover her inner Lizzie Bennet? Neil’s unexpected arrival in Oxford complicates Claire’s journey to finding her own romantic lead, and she discovers that finding the right hero can be more difficult than she ever imagined.

Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart is the story of a woman who finds that falling in love may be the biggest adventure of all and that a true hero can appear in the most unexpected places.

~Source: back of book

First of all, I must say that I love the cover of this book. It’s beautiful and romantic, and if I hadn’t agreed to read this book, I probably would have picked up and checked out the back summary based on the cover alone!

Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart was a very enjoyable read for me. I really liked the characters, especially how each and every character was expressly different. There are many times when you read a book, and while the main characters are allowed to develop and express their personalities, the minor characters of the book sort of take on a cookie cutter appearance. There may be physical descriptions that distinguish who they are, their characters are very robotic and are the main point of their presence is to offer support to the leads. Beth Pattillo developed all of her characters into people I could see in my mind’s eye as well as gain an understanding of on a personal level. Kudos for that!

I also enjoyed watching Claire discover herself, or rather discover that she had no idea who she was. Even her purpose for going to Oxford to the seminar was made as a favor to or in a “care taker role” for her sister, and not as a decision of her own. Soon you discover that there is very little about Claire’s life that is her own choice or will. So it is no surprise when she meets James at the seminar and feels the buzz of attraction between them, that the part of Claire that just wants something for herself steps up and takes control. Their relationship develops rather fast and furious, as they are swept up in the romance of London and Pride and Prejudice. Add this in with the revelation if First Impressions, the secret first draft of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, and the world becomes an interesting, if not complicated break from what has become Claire’s life.

My favorite part, outside of the ending which I won’t blow for you, was the presentations at the seminar. I loved hearing everyone’s different opinions and thoughts about Pride and Prejudice. It has opened up a desire to go back and revisit the book for myself, looking at from more than just a head-on approach. The only thing I was a little disappointed in the book was I really wanted more resolution between Harriot and Eleanor. I know that Harriet pointed out that no matter how you raise your kids, they are cut from a particular cloth and that is how they are going to be, and that should have been resolution enough, but I was harboring a desire for an understanding to come between them.

The Thirteenth Tale – Diane Setterfield

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
Genre: Adult Fiction

Form: Book

Sometimes, when you open the door to the past, what you confront is your destiny.

Reclusive author Vida Winter, famous for her collection of twelve enchanting stories, has spent the past six decades penning a series of alternate lives for herself. Now old and ailing, she is ready to reveal the truth about her extraordinary existence and the violent and tragic past she has kept secret for so long. Calling on Margaret Lea, a young biographer troubled by her own painful history, Vida disinters the life she meant to bury for good. Margaret is mesmerized by the author’s tale of gothic strangeness — featuring the beautiful and willful Isabelle, the feral twins Adeline and Emmeline, a ghost, a governess, a topiary garden and a devastating fire. Together, Margaret and Vida confront the ghosts that have haunted them while becoming, finally, transformed by the truth themselves.


The Thirteenth Tale surprised me. I had attempted to read this book once, almost a year ago. I probably got to the 2nd chapter and put the book down. There are so many words, so many descriptions and not enough action. I like dialogue and I like stuff to happen. It felt like story was just words for me. Despite that first start, I decided when an online book group wanted to do this book, that I would give it another shot. Once again I found myself slightly lost in it’s descriptions and felt like the book was moving slowly, since this was sort of like an assignment than reading for pleasure, I pressed on. I’m very glad that I did.

When I attempted to describe to my husband what this book was about I said something like, “Well, let’s put it this way; the author of this book is writing about a semi-biographer/bookstore clerk who is writing a biography of an author who is dictating the story I am reading.” So from the perspective of Diane Setterfield, that is some pretty complex writing to begin with. The Thirteenth Tale is filled with so many surprises, twists and turns that it definitely makes up for the slow pace of the book. In fact, I’m positive that the slow pace of the book was rather intentional. Diane does not reveal the next surprise until it is absolutely necessary, and every single time I caught myself thinking, “Man, didn’t see that one coming!”

My one and only complaint with the book happened at the very end. (I apologize in advance for this spoiler, but I cannot voice my complaint without the spoiler. If you haven’t read the book, you may want to stop now and come back after you read it and continue my review!) The appearance of Margaret’s sister cheapened her entire story for me. For the entire book Margaret is haunted by the twin sister who died at birth. She spends a lot of time mourning over the loss of this person she never actually met in real life. But it’s not exactly the person, but the connection of twins that has her feeling as though she is missing half of herself. There are many instances in which Margaret finds herself looking at her sister, almost communicating with her in away – and every time she is “seeing” her sister, it is actually a reflection of one kind or another of herself. So there is no actual ghost. So to write the entire story in that way, and then at the very end let there actually be a ghost really did nothing for met at all.

In reality, this part of the book was only a very small segement, a side story of the whole. The story of Adeline and Emmeline is the story that had me glued to this book. Okay, “glued” might actually be too strong of the word. Like I have mentioned, there are a lot of descriptions and long paragraphs. This made it very easy for me to put the book down and come back to it. That is not how I usually am, I usually cannot put the book down because I can’t wait to find out what happens next. But, even when I did put the book down, the story and the characters were playing their part in my head, keeping me wrapped up into it’s story.

I highly recommend this book!

One Lucky Cowboy – Carolyn Brown

One Lucky Cowboy by Carolyn Brown
Form: ARC Book
Genre: Romance

Jane Day is on the run from the paid assassin who had been her fiance. In Wichita Falls, Texas, she meets Nellie Luckadeau, a spitfire of an old lady who desperately needs someone to work on her ranch. But Nellie’s drop-dead gorgeous grandson “Lucky Slade” is sure he can spot a con artist a mile away. He’s determined not to let some upstart like Jane fleece his granny.
When his signature intimidation methods don’t convince Jane to leave, he pours on the charm to make her spill what she’s up to. She’s happy to play along, but she’s not going to let this hot, hostile cowboy run her off his land when all she needs is a lucky break.


I really enjoyed reading One Lucky Cowboy. Jane is fun, crazy, mischievous and wonderful all wrapped into one, and she gives Slade a run for his money at every twist and turn. Honestly, I’m a little surprised that she wasn’t written as a red-head, as she has all the attributes of a stereo-typical redhead. Slade was very much a cowboy and was so hung up on pride that half the time he had a hard time seeing his nose despite his face, or maybe it was just that he had a hard time admitting to what his feelings truly were. There are so many different scenes and events that really develop Jane and Slade’s characters, you get to know them rather well. Nellie was also an awesome character, and I loved all of her group of friends.

There were a lot of references to music, movies, books and authors in this book – I sort of wondered if Carolyn Brown was throwing in some of her favorites for us to enjoy, (although I have to say that I had never seen The Bucket List and probably won’t now that I know it ends up so sad…). I did like that these everyday things were included in the lives of Jane and Slade, because so often it seems that books have so many other things going on in them – the characters stop being real people doing real things.

The moving line of the book was really the best part of all. The action kept a reasonable pace, and allowed for even more opportunity for Jane and Slade to get to know each other, and became real friends – but there were times when I felt the scenes were crossing the line of believable; i.e. while at the safe house. All-in-all, I found One Lucky Cowboy to be very entertaining.

The Lovely Bones and Dear Zoe

The Lovely Bones
by Alice Sebold

This past week I read two books that were very similar in topic matter: The Lovely Bones, by Alice Sebold and Dear Zoe, by Philip Beard. Both books dealt with the death of a girl. In The Lovely Bones, it was Susie, a teenage girl who fell prey to a sick man who rapes and murders mostly teenagers, but sometimes older women. In Dear Zoe, the girl was a toddler named Zoe who was about the age of my youngest daughter, and probably the hardest of the two for me to deal with.
The Lovely Bones was surprising in a super natural sort of way. The brief glimpses of Susie in the human world, and her ultimate appearance near the end. The way the book was described to me, I was expecting more of her and her heaven, when in reality this is her telling of the story from heaven of the years after her death. I knew the healing aspect for her family would be there, and I counted on it from the beginning, because I would never put myself through a book like this without expecting something happy to end on.
Still yet, while in the end Susie felt released from her role on earth, I still was left with an bit of a melancholy feel about the whole thing. I think the biggest disappointment for me was that her murderer was never officially caught. While there was some vindication and resolve there – it wasn’t what I wanted. I wanted him busted and shut away. Some resolution in the murder, thus a more rounded resolution in Susie’s family. I know I have made this sound like I was not enjoying the book, but that is not true either. I’m just telling you what I expected. This book was very lyrical in a way. The descriptions and feelings were powerful throughout the book, and probably very real. The emotions and all. This is a good book, if you can deal with the topic matter. It’s not real heavy or graphic on the crime itself, but the grief of the family is very real.
Dear Zoe by Philip Beard
Dear Zoe was not near as emotional in it’s verse. It’s told from the perspective of Tess, the teenage sister of Zoe. She is distraught, to say the least, and not just because her baby sister is gone, but because she was the one responsible for her when the accident happened. She feels very much an outsider, since she is the daughter she suspects her mom didn’t mean to have, and her step dad is not really her dad, but then neither is her dad. There’s no where she feels like she belongs.

This book was particularly hard for me, because when the book described the actions of Zoe, I would imagine my daughter and her face and her smiles and it would just break my heart. So while the book itself had a very teenage quality about it, the writing, the content, etc. the grief portion of the book was very very difficult for me.

Remember Me – Sophie Kinsella

Remember Me by Sophie Kinsella
Genre: Chick Lit
Form: Audio Book

When twenty-eight-year-old Lexi Smart wakes up in a London hospital, she’s in for a big surprise. Her teeth are perfect. Her body is toned. Her handbag is Vuitton. Having survived a car accident–in a Mercedes no less–Lexi has lost a big chunk of her memory, three years to be exact, and she’s about to find out just how much things have changed, Somehow Lexi went from a twenty-five-year-old working girl to a corporate big shot with a sleek new loft, a personal assistant, a carb-free diet, and a set of glamorous new friends. And who is this gorgeous husband–who also happens to be a multimillionaire? With her mind still stuck three years in reverse, Lexi greets this brave new world determined to be the person she…well, seems to be. That is, until an adorably disheveled architect drops the biggest bombshell of all. Suddenly Lexi is scrambling to catch her balance. Her new life, it turns out, comes complete with secrets, schemes, and intrigue. How on earth did all this happen? Will she ever remember? And what will happen when she does?


One Word Summary: Typical
Typical in an atypical setting is more like it. I’ve never read a book about anyone who had amnesia, and was unable to recover from it. But as a romance novel goes, it was pretty typical.
There seems to be a rash of books about highly successful women who get the best guy around (it IS fiction afterall,) I guess it’s okay to have everything and more), and personally in most cases I find the whole thing sort of shallow. But in Remember Me I feel like Sophie Kinsella addresses the shallowness, by having Lexi realize that the more she finds out about who she has become, the more she has become someone completely different – and she didn’t like it. I felt like she wafted between being okay with it and being disappointed with herself a little to much. Also, I wasn’t feeling the electric vibes between her and Colin so much – perhaps maybe because the book’s focus wasn’t really about her love, but about her life and getting a chance to undo the monster she’d created the first time around.

The Treasures of Venice – Loucinda McGary

The Treasures of Venice by Loucinda McGary
Genre: Adult Romance (Suspense)
Form: ARC Book

He’s a charming Irish rogue who never met a lock he couldn’t pick…

Keirnan Fitzgerald is desperate to locate the missing Jewels of the Madonna. With danger at every corner and time running out, he must use whatever means possible to uncover the stolen jewels in time to save his sister’s life….

She’s simply in Venice to relax and heal her broken heart…

Samantha Lewis is shocked when a dashing stranger approaches her in a Venetian cafe pretending to know her. She’s ready for something new and exciting in her life, so she throws caution to the wind and accompanies the Irish charmer into his dangerous world of intrigue, theft, and betrayal… As the centuries-old story behind the Jewels’ disappearance is revealed, Samantha must decide whether the man she’s so compellingly drawn to is her soul mate from a previous life, or if they are merely pawns in a relentless quest for a priceless treasure…

Source: back of book

One Word Summary: Creative
The Treasures of Venice was a nice break from my typical paranormal itinerary. I enjoyed the action and the adventure of the hunt for the Jewels of the Madonna as well as of a kidnapped sister who possess the only solid knowledge of the Jewel’s whereabouts. This book was a little bit Indiana Jones meets sexy Irishman.
The story started out very strong, with Keirnan spotting Samantha and using her as his cover, from that moment the relationship between the two did not cease to gain momentum. They had an unexplainable electricity and attraction from the start. Their interaction and relationship are what made this book so good. But then the story-line surely helped in the building of the characters and moving the story along. I enjoyed learning about history of the sought after jewels and the characters surrounding them, and felt like I was getting 2 books in one.
My favorite parts include Keirnan and Sam’s first encounter and their tour through Doge’s Palace; the beginning of their adventure. I also enjoyed pretty much every time Samantha ends up taking care of Keirnan. My one and only [minor] complaint was the number of times Keirnan mentioned his “libido,” not that I have objections to the word or topic matter – I just felt that in a place or two a synonym could have been used.
I really enjoyed The Treasures of Venice, and the adventure it took me on, and I look forward to seeing more books by Loucinda McGary in the future.

What I Did for Love – Susan Elizabeth Phillips

What I Did for Love by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
Genre: Adult Romance
Form: Audio Book
Narrator: Julia Gibson

“How did this happen?” Georgie York, once the costar of America’s favorite television sitcom, has been publicly abandoned by her famous husband, her film career has tanked, her father is driving her crazy, and her public image as a spunky heroine is taking a serious beating.
What should a down-on-her-luck actress do? “Not” go to Vegas . . . “not” run into her detestable former costar, dreamboat-from-hell Bramwell Shepard . . . and “not” get caught up in an ugly incident that leads to a calamitous elopement. Before she knows it, Georgie has a fake marriage, a fake husband, and maybe (or not) a fake sex life.
It’s a paparazzi free-for-all, and Georgie’s nonsupporting cast doesn’t help. There’s Bram’s punk-nightmare housekeeper, Georgie’s own pushy parent, a suck-up agent, an icy studio head with a private agenda, and her ex-husband’s new wife, who can’t get enough of doing good deeds and saving the world–the bitch. As for Georgie’s leading man, Bram’s giving the performance of his life, but he’s never cared about anyone except himself, and it’s not exactly clear why.
Two enemies find themselves working without a script in a town where the spotlight shines bright . . . and where the strongest emotions can wear startling disguises.

One Word Summary: Entertaining
Lately when I get my hands on a book that mostly deals with stinkin rich and famous people, I put it down. Something about being that rich, and famous and petty – it doesn’t really amuse me. I obviously made an exception with Glitter Baby and What I Did for Love.

I actually liked Glitter Baby better, because I felt that the problems between the main characters were more real, and a more significant part of the story. In What I Did for Love, it seemed like the main problems were dealing with being famous, and making sure the paparazzi didn’t know the truth. The book was about getting over the past, your past, and moving forward and onward with life. I didn’t like how the characters were extremely self-centered and assumed they knew what was going on about 90% of the time. This was Susan’s intent, because they were suppose to learn not to judge people by their past, but it just got to be annoying after a while. They would make love and then hate each other 5 minutes later.

Regardless of all the things I didn’t like, I still found the book entertaining. I don’t regret listening to it in the slightest. (Although my CDR screwed up when I imported the book to my iPod and I was missing very large chunks of tracks, sometimes more than 5 minutes worth.) I liked how Susan brought back characters not only from Glitter Baby but also from Natural Born Charmer, which I also have listened to. I enjoyed “seeing” them again, no matter how brief.