Title: Mean Streak
Author: Sandra Brown
Publish Date: August 19, 2014
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
416 pages, ebook

Barnes & Noble

I am a huge fan of Sandra Brown, so to get to read this book before it's published was way cool!! But regardless of my fandom, I loved this book. The character, Emory was wonderful in that she was brilliant and strong physically and mentally which I always enjoy a good solid woman protagonist. Her character developed well and slow enough I could enjoy each of her small angels. Her husband, Jeff was a character I didn't care for but not because he wasn't written well. I, of course, loved the hunky guy in the woods - he was so charismatic, mysterious and sexy. The intertwining story was also a wonderful surprise that led the plot that much thicker. I had a feeling of the ending, but it had a few shocking twists and turns that I hadn't guessed!

Dr. Emory Charbonneau, a pediatrician and marathon runner, disappears on a mountain road in North Carolina. By the time her husband Jeff, miffed over a recent argument, reports her missing, the trail has grown cold. Literally. Fog and ice encapsulate the mountainous wilderness and paralyze the search for her.

While police suspect Jeff of "instant divorce," Emory, suffering from an unexplained head injury, regains consciousness and finds herself the captive of a man whose violent past is so dark that he won't even tell her his name. She's determined to escape him, and willing to take any risks necessary to survive.

Unexpectedly, however, the two have a dangerous encounter with people who adhere to a code of justice all their own. At the center of the dispute is a desperate young woman whom Emory can't turn her back on, even if it means breaking the law.

As her husband's deception is revealed, and the FBI closes in on her captor, Emory begins to wonder if the man with no name is, in fact, her rescuer.

Cover Reveal: The Other Lamb by Katie Young

Title: The Other Lamb
Author: Katie Young
(expected) Publish Date: Aug 28, 2014

Incarcerated on Earth as punishment for breeding with humans, the Watchers found a way to escape. Zach is living proof of that…even though someone has cut out his heart.

When Zach turns eighteen he develops an insatiable thirst for blood, but he tries to bury his fears and go on enjoying his birthday. His best friend Kim has scored them tickets to the hottest gig in town. But a charged encounter with his idol, the enigmatic rock star known as Grigory, leads to a revelation that shatters everything Zach thinks he knows about himself and the world, and places everyone dear to him in grave danger.
Zach is a Naphil, the forbidden offspring of a mortal woman and a Watcher. When those who seek to destroy him snatch Kim, Zach is forced to embark on a journey of discovery spanning continents and ages. With the help of a mysterious stranger named Sam, Zach must unearth the truth about his parentage, find Kim, and discover who has stolen his heart…before he triggers the apocalypse.

BOOK REVIEW: I Am The Weapon by Allen Zadoff

TITLE: I Am the Weapon
Boy Nobody #1
(when I reviewed this for Netgalley, it was called The Hit - orig pub on Apr 25, 2013)
AUTHOR: Allen Zadoff
PUBLISHER: Little, Brown & CO BYR
PUBLISH DATE: June 11th 2013

Amazon $2.99 kindle edition

Well I just lost half a night's sleep because I could not put this book down!!

The writing is simple, but well-written. It is easy to follow and even more easy to read like a crazy person. The characters have good, solid development giving the reader the ease to root for some and beg for the demise of others.

As a fan of female protagonists, this one surprised me. The main character, whose name changes as his hits are completed, was purely, detached and unemotional assassin. The perfect kind that is underestimated and successful driven by the deaths of his parents, the lies they told and the program's effort to make an invisible assassin. But he is human. And hard as he may try, he has feelings he cannot escape.

Oh man, this was SOOOOO GOOD!! I really enjoyed this book.

He is the perennial new kid in school, the one few notice and nobody thinks much about. He shows up in a new high school, in a new town, under a new name, makes few friends and doesn't stay long. Just long enough for someone in his new friend's family to die -- of "natural causes." Mission accomplished, Boy Nobody disappears, and moves on to the next target.

But when he's assigned to the mayor of New York City, things change. The daughter seems so much like him; the mayor reminds him of his father. And when memories and questions surface, his handlers at The Program are watching. Because somewhere, deep inside Boy Nobody, is somebody: the kid he once was, the teen who wants normal things, like a real home and parents; a young man who wants out. And he just might want those things badly enough to sabotage The Program's next mission.

Book Review: The Glass Kitchen by Linda Francis Lee

TITLE: The Glass Kitchen
AUTHOR: Linda Francis Lee
PUBLISH DATE: June 17, 2014
PUBLISHER: St. Martins Press
384 pages

Amazon: $10.99 ebook
Barnes and Noble: $10.99 ebook
After a couple of chapters of wondering where this book was going, I was pulled and then couldn't put the book down.  It took a bit to figure out the characters and what was happening. The reader is hit with a bunch of chaos right off the bat and it requires patience for the issues to come to light. But if you are patient, the characters find their way into your heart and I was rooting for them all. Well all but Uncle Andrew. I didn't want him to get anything, but he was still a good, bad character. 

Ariel was my favorite, but I aligned with her as she was a dreamer, the problem solver, the bridge in negativity.

I did love the sisters, Portia, Olivia and Coredila, but would love to read a follow-up book that includes their own stories. 

There was a few major curve balls in this book that by the time I was sucked in, I was so transfixed that I was not prepared for them. They threw me and made it that much harder to put the book down for normal life things like sleep. I refuse to divulge them though!

This is a perfect book for a vacation read. It was light, happy and full of chaos. And of course, the family drama was fantastically written.

SUMMARY - Portia Cuthcart never intended to leave Texas. Her dream was to run the Glass Kitchen restaurant her grandmother built decades ago. But after a string of betrayals and the loss of her legacy, Portia is determined to start a new life with her sisters in Manhattan... and never cook again.

But when she moves into a dilapidated brownstone on the Upper West Side, she meets twelve-year-old Ariel and her widowed father Gabriel, a man with his hands full trying to raise two daughters on his own. Soon, a promise made to her sisters forces Portia back into a world of magical food and swirling emotions, where she must confront everything she has been running from. What seems so simple on the surface is anything but when long-held secrets are revealed, rivalries exposed, and the promise of new love stirs to life like chocolate mixing with cream.

The Glass Kitchen is a delicious novel, a tempestuous story of a woman washed up on the shores of Manhattan who discovers that a kitchen—like an island—can be a refuge, if only she has the courage to give in to the pull of love, the power of forgiveness, and accept the complications of what it means to be family.

Book Review: Come Back To Me by MIla Gray

Title: Come Back To Me
Author: Mila Gray
AKA: Sarah Alderson
ebook, 373 pages
Expected Publish Date: June 19, 2014
Publisher: Pan Macmillan

Barnes and Noble:

No one can write a love scene like Sarah Alderson!!! That said, there is so much more in this book than romance scenes. But boy, are the windows steamy!

I will read anything Sarah Alderson put out, so I did not read the summary of this book and therefore had no idea what to expect. It opens with a home filled with anguish and tension, fear so thick it could be cut with a knife. Jessa lives with this everyday. Her mother walks through life in a stupor, drug-induced haze. All of this caused by her father, a Marine who has had a bad turn of events during his last service. He has PTSD so badly he cannot contain his emotions.

Then Jessa runs in to Kit again. The boy she had a crush on as she was growing up as he was always around being her older brother's best friend. A historical playboy, girl player he does not have the best reputation, but when he starts to date Jessa things may change.

This was such a romantic book that I wanted to cry in so many places. The way Jessa and Kit met and their relationship grew was beautiful. I really can't say more because I refuse to give away the plot, but I will say that their time is numbered as Kit is scheduled to deploy very soon. What will become of their relationship? How it will continue even though her older brother may have words about the relationship? And will it survive when Jessa's own father has had a problem with Kit since he was a child?

This is a future movie, if you ask me!

Summary - Home on leave in sunny California, Marine and local lothario Kit Ryan finds himself dangerously drawn to his best friend's sister, Jessa - the one girl he can't have.

But Kit's not about to let a few obstacles stand in his way and soon Jessa's falling for his irresistible charms.

What starts out as a summer romance of secret hook-ups and magical first times quickly develops into a passionate love affair that turns both their worlds upside down.

When summer's over and it's time for Kit to redeploy, neither Kit nor Jessa are ready to say goodbye. Jessa's finally following her dreams and Kit's discovered there's someone he'd sacrifice everything for.

Jessa's prepared to wait for Kit no matter what. But when something more than distance and time rips them apart they're forced to decide whether what they have is really worth fighting for.

A breathtaking, scorchingly hot story about love, friendship, family and finding your way back from the edge of heartbreak.

Book Review: Unbearable by Sherry Gammon

Title: Unbearable
Port Fare Series #3
Author: Sherry Gammon
ebook; 1,313 pages
Published June 9, 2014 by Wordpaintings Unlimited and CPP

Amazon: $3.99
Barnes and Noble: $3.99

I have read first book by Sherry Gammon called Unlovable, but for some reason I do not remember reading the second book in the series, Unbelievable. So, I will be adding that to my reading list after finishing this review. :)

I highly recommend reading this book as it touches on a few subjects generally kept in the dark - domestic violence, rape, cheating and how to cope with them. Gammon brings these subjects up so well, in all her books, that you do not even realize she is describing a whole new world until it comes crashing down on the reader and we are forced to ride it out because it is impossible to put the book down. Gammon weaves these tales so intricately that it feels like the reader is living the book.

Gammon creates, introduces and develops characters like Tess that are completely wrecked and trying to survive. Women that I root for at the same time I want to protect. She writes strong, yet vulnerable heroes like Booker who do such a wonderful job of being realistic. Honestly though, my favorite characters ended up being Booker's family because they played such a large role in the story.  As family is usually in the middle of your relationship.

Even though she covers unhappy topics, the plot is still light enough to be read on vacation or during a work break.

Sherry Gammon also follows up with Maggie, the young woman who was raising her alcoholic mother in the first book in the series, whom I absolutely love.

Summary - Booker Gatto is done. Done with women, his old life, all of it. Only the love of his friends in Port Fare keeps him going as he leaves the MET in exchange for the quiet life his new law practice will provide.

Tess Selleck, once as ambitious and determined as she is smart and beautiful, had to leave everything and everyone she loves in San Diego to escape the man who destroyed her dreams and now wants her dead.
Together Booker and Tess find love when they least expect it, until their pasts drive them apart. Is there a happily ever after for these damaged lovers? Or is the thought of loving and trusting again simply Unbearable?

Unbearable is the exciting conclusion to the Port Fare Series. Join Booker as he struggles to find his happily ever after.

Comic Book Men with Kevin Smith

My fiance has me completely and utterly hooked on Kevin Smith's show featured on Netflix called Comic Book Men. It is based on Kevin Smith's comic book store and the four men who work there. Kevin Smith basically runs a (what we believe to be fake) radio show where he interviews these guys about their time in the store. They discuss things people come in to sell, crazy stars that drop by, funny comments and odd questions only true nerds can ask each other.

It is so funny. I really don't remember the last time I laughed so hard so continuously. They make fun of each other, but in a very good humored way. I enjoy that.

They are also incredibly smart. Each one has their own way of talking about comics, super heroes and scifi. One of the guys doesn't even work there. He just showed up and never left. He is just a fixture. He doesn't get paid. He just comes in, hangs out behind the counter and talks all day.

The one that amazes me though, is Walter, the store manager. His knowledge just astounds me. He can pull dates, names, writers, heroes out of no where. He seems to know everything. He also is an amazing salesman. He can negotiate a price from $200 to $475. But he also has a kindness about him where he sees people enough to give on a price to make them happy.

My favorite though is still Kevin Smith. He is only in bits of the show, but when he talks he always says something profound and thought provoking. He seems like a truly wonderful and down to earth guy. They occasionally show Jay (Kevin Smith's side kick in his movies) although I can't remember his name. He looks like he is struggling a bit. I know from reading Kevin Smith's book that he struggles with drugs, but he seems distant and grasping to engage, but I suppose that could be his personality too.

If you are looking for a good, whole-some, informative show to watch I highly suggest checking this out on Netflix.

Izaday's book montage

The Kite Runner
Memoirs of a Geisha
The Secret Life of Bees
The Time Traveler's Wife
My Sister's Keeper
The Pact
Nineteen Minutes
The Tenth Circle
A Thousand Splendid Suns
Waiter Rant: Thanks for the Tip-Confessions of a Cynical Waiter
Waiter Rant
The Unlikely Disciple: A Sinner's Semester at America's Holiest University
Falling Home
Eighteen Acres
The Dirty Life: On Farming, Food, and Love
A Discovery of Witches
Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison
The Hunger Games

Izaday's favorite books »