Welcome to the first gathering of the WW Ladies Book Club. We have quite the mix of books today, so hopefully, something for everyone. If you received a book for Christmas, feel free to share it in the comment sections. Someone is always looking for a good book to read.
The Passion of the Purple Plumeria by Lauren Willig
Listened to by joysann
When the younger sister of the illusive British spy, the Pink Carnation, goes missing from her boarding school, chaperone/companion Gwendolyn Meadows returns from Napoleon’s Paris with her friend, fearing the sister’s disappearance is political retaliation. Colonel William Reid had just returned from twenty years in India to discover his daughter missing from the school as well. He and Gwen join forces in an increasingly more dangerous search that also increasingly involves their reluctant hearts.
Book 10 in the Pink Carnation series is just as delightful, exciting and romantic as the previous ones, and I’ve been hooked on the audiobooks from the first. The characters always catch my heart, as the mysteries and intrigues that surround them entertain me. The switch back and forth between the modern day researcher’s romance and the fascinating, well-researched historical romance is a captivating format, and I will be listening to the next book as soon as it comes out later this summer.
Heroic Measures by Jo-Ann Power
Read by Sue
Hardened by her life with her embittered, greedy aunt, newly-qualified nurse Gwen Spencer is determined to devote her skills to the wounded soldiers of World War I. Convinced she has the “guts, nerves of steel, and tremendous heart” necessary, she is still unprepared for the horrors of the military hospitals and front-line aid stations. Her only relief from those horrors is a best friend from home, and the romantic attentions of Richard, a British nobleman whose family has been deeply damaged by the results of the conflict.
Jo-Ann Power has succeeded in depicting her chosen characters, setting, and plot vividly, and I was completely enthralled. I was particularly moved by the way she conveys the various ways this “war to end all wars” ravages all it touches. Gwen and Richard earn their happy ending, but a number of ongoing plot threads set the stage for the second book in the trilogy.
Mister Christmas by Fern Michaels – Attorney Claire O’Brien is summoned by her top client to Ireland, for an emergency that she must handle immediately. Little does she know that her client’s most frustrating but handsome nephew must be part of this new deal her client has plans for.
The Yellow Rose of Christmas by Marie Bostwick – Velvet Tudmore is the historian for the quaint town of Too Much, Texas. She prides herself on order and discipline. Suddenly, she has a secret admirer, and she is treating herself to a new makeover so she can finally meet at the annual Christmas ball.
Nightmare on Elf Street by Laura Levine – Jaine Austen is a writer, not a Christmas Elf at the mall. But that is what she has to be, to help in a pinch, and get the job she is hoping for. Little does she know that she would end up in the middle of a murder investigation, all while wear striped tights from hell.
Room at the Inn by Cindy Myers – When a Colorado Blizzard delays Barbara Stanowski’s plans for a perfect holiday with her husband and friends, she thinks things can’t get worse. Then her husband shares unexpected plans, and they have to have shelter in remote cabins, Barbara wants nothing more than to get out. But her heart changes in the most unexpected ways, to find some true Christmas spirit.
This anthology features 4 wonderful stories that will quickly become beloved during the holidays.
They had true Christmas spirit that warmed me from head to toe. My two favorites were the Nightmare on Elf Street and Room at the Inn. I laughed, I cried, I enjoyed. Ahhh, what a way to ring in the holidays.
Redshirts by John Scalzi
Listened to by joysann
When assigned to the Universal Union flagship Intrepid, Andy Dahl learns about the tragic demise of many crewmembers on a regular basis during their deepspace explorations, and he figures out that he and other lower ranking shipmates too easily fit into that scenario. He and his friends discover that their reality is related to what must be a cosmic comedy, and they set off through space and time in a effort to save themselves before it’s too late.
Totally laugh-out-loud funny in spots, Redshirts drew my nerdy pleasures out in a way similar to the movie Galaxy Quest, but in a more enjoyably thought-teasing and brain-twisting manner. Add narrator Wil Wheaton to the audiobook mix and it takes on even more humorous light and charm. Totally enamored of the characters and their plight, I was almost sad when the story was over, but I can very happily listen to it again soon.
Hard Target by Kay Thomas
Read by Joan
Leland Hollis has handed in his resignation to the DEA and has sequestered himself at a Dallas hotel to hide from the media hype surrounding a bad situation while recovering from a serious wound. In an adjoining room he hears a woman screaming and a man threatening her, and Leland has to step in. That’s how he becomes involved with Anna Mercado and her teenage son, whose medical condition makes them all vulnerable to the crazy machinations of Anna’s estranged and homicidal husband.
This is the first book in a new romantic suspense series by Kay Thomas. Kay weaves the story with mystery and surprises, and keeps the action, as well as the romance, moving right up to the end. After reading an enticing blurb at the end of Hard Target, I’m already geared up for the next book in the Elite Ops series.
Natural Law by Joey W. Hill
Read by joysann
The murders of evidently sexually submissive males indicates a serial killer to Detective Mac Nighthorse, who determines the next step in the investigation is for him to go undercover into an exclusive BDSM club. This isn’t a problem as Mac is himself a submissive already living the lifestyle. Meeting Mistress Violet is a bonus in the investigation as she is as willing to help find the killer as she is to help Max find his heart.
Max Nighthorse is about the most strong, sexy, determined and hot alpha male protagonist as I’ve ever read about, yet, under Joey Hill’s skillfully sensual writing hand, I can almost understand the world he chooses to live in. I did not expect to find easy reading here, and didn’t, but I also didn’t expect to discover an empathy for a life choice beyond my experience, which I did. I found Natural Law to be a tasteful, powerful, enthralling and well-written reading experience.
Bottom Line: My first book of 2014 is Heart of Stone by Christine Warren.