Tuesday, February 28, 2017

The Nearness of You by Amanda Eyre Ward

Successful, driven heart surgeon Suzette is caught off guard when her husband, Hyland, tells her that he'd like them to have a child. Married now for fifteen years, they had agreed that they weren't going to have children, because Suzette feared passing on her mother's mental illness. Hyland explains that he would like them to have a baby with a surrogate. Reluctant at first, Suzette agrees. After several false starts, a young woman named Dorrie agrees to be their surrogate, hoping that she can use the money she receives to go to college, but things don't go as planned... Taking place over the next fifteen years, the book explores the bonds of motherhood, marriage, and what it means to be a family.

Monday, February 27, 2017

My Not So Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella

Living and working in London hasn't exactly turned out how Katie Brenner has planned. Barely scraping by on her salary at Cooper Clemmow and having to do the most menial jobs at the company have at times left her pretty depressed--albeit in a funny way. When she meets co-worker Alex, Katie--or Cat (as she has now christened herself to everyone)--feels really alive and attracted to him. Her boss at the firm, Demeter Farlowe, however, treats all of the staff in a demeaning way. Katie, though, feels Demeter is creative and really good at her job. Soon, however, Katie is fired and ends up back home in Somerset trying to help her dad with his latest business venture, a vacation spot for people who are into glamping. Will Katie show everyone that she really has the talent to make it in London? My Not So Perfect Life is a light, humorous tale of a woman trying to make her dreams come true.

Shadow Man by Alan Drew

Police detective Ben Wade moved back to his hometown of Rancho Santa Elena from Los Angeles four years ago. He and his wife, Rachel, have since divorced, but are co-parenting their teenage daughter, Emma. Life in Rancho Santa Elena has been quieter than L.A., but Ben finds himself tracking down a serial killer and trying to determine if a high school student's death was suicide. The boy who possibly committed suicide was on the school swim team, like Ben was at his age, and the boy's death brings back memories of Ben's childhood and teen years that he would really like to keep buried. Set in the 1980's, Shadow Man, features a changing Southern California along with a character-centered mystery.  It will be published in May.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Garden of Lamentations by Deborah Crombie

Gemma James finds herself both professionally and personally drawn to investigating the murder of nanny Reagan Keating, who was found dead in a Notting Hill communal garden. Working with DCI Kerry Boatman, Gemma tries to uncover who would want Reagan dead. At the same time, she's worried about the boy Reagan looked after, ballet dancer Jess. Meanwhile, Gemma's husband, Duncan Kincaid suspects possible high-level corruption in Scotland Yard when his former boss, Denis Childs, is viciously attacked. With help from their colleagues Doug and Melody, will both Gemma and Duncan be successful in discovering the truth? While I enjoyed catching up with the characters in this long-running mystery series, I found that the use of four points of view diluted the storyline. Also, a substantial part of the novel relied on events in the two previous books, and I wished I had retained more of the plot points. An ok read, but not one of her best.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

The Freedom Broker by K.J. Howe

Thea Paris' job as someone who rescues kidnap victims takes her around the world and puts her in lots of dangerous situations. Growing up as the daughter of wealthy businessman, Christos Paris, her childhood was altered with the kidnapping of her older brother, Nikos. Nikos came home after almost a year, but returned angry and different. In addition, a rift developed between Christos and Nikos. Now, when Christos is kidnapped on the eve of one of the biggest deals in his career, Thea (with help from childhood friend and colleague, Rif Asker) works hard to bring him home. Nikos seems to be trying to assist Thea--or does he really want Christos dead? In this fast-paced series opener, Howe gives the reader a story with non-stop action and intrigue and a likable main character in Thea.  Give to readers who enjoyed Taylor Stevens' excellent thriller The Informationist.