Thursday, December 4, 2014

Family Matters

Family Matters is the fourth DiCarlo Brides novel.

This time we're catching up with Rosemary. And her secret is a nine year old daughter.

This book is all about choices. Past choices that affect the present and present choices that affect the future. Some have been for good and others have yielded bitter fruit.

Rosemary is a tough nut to crack, but when you do, she's full of gooey marshmallow like every one else. You just have to get through her layers, and there are a lot of them. Good thing Harrison is persistent and consistent about persuading her to let him into her life and her heart.

Stakes are high again as threats are made on Rosemary and Cleo. Accidents turn into sinister attempts on their lives.

Watch the family, blood and extended, band together to pull through another stressful situation.

All these people are going to need serious therapy at the end of this series.

As in the previous novels, all the sex is alluded to, but happens off page, which works great for me.

This is my least favorite cover so far. I think it's the dress.

Bring on the next sister.

Rosemary Keogh considers herself pretty adaptable—she dealt with her father’s death-bed edict that she move across the country to work at his latest hotel with five half-sisters, (most of whom she hadn’t known existed) hadn’t she? She settled into the routine, even grew to like most of them, but when tragedy leaves her birth daughter parentless—and she is named as the guardian—her world spins again. 

Trying to raise a nine-year-old who shares her spunk and determination isn’t always an easy thing. When Rosemary starts having mysterious ‘accidents,’ though, her worries shift from being a bad mother to leaving her daughter an orphan yet again. 

Adding to the confusion, Harrison Forest, head of the resort’s human resources department, decides it’s time to shift their relationship from semi-adversarial to something a whole lot more interesting. Can they get past the roadblocks she’s been throwing in their way to make things work? More importantly, will she survive that long?

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The Paladin Pawn

The Paladin Pawn by Michael Young

When nerdy Rich Witz unwittingly becomes a Paladin, a white knight, in training, he is thrust into a world where flunking a test can change the course of history and a mysterious bully is playing for keeps with his life. 
Rich’s grandmother leaves him with one thing before disappearing for good: a white chess pawn with his initials engraved on it. The pawn marks him as the next in an ancient line of white knights. He must prove himself in a life or death contest against his Nemesis, a dark knight in training, all while dealing with math homework and English projects.  With the ghost of an ancestor for his guide, he has seven days to complete four tasks of valor before his Nemesis does, or join his guide in the realm of the dead. 
As Rich rushes to complete the tasks, he realizes the chilling truth: his Nemesis is masquerading as someone at school and will stop at nothing to make him fail. As the tasks grow ever harder, the other knights reveal to him that his failure will break a centuries-old chain and bring the Paladin order to ruin. If he fails, the dark knights win the right to control the fate of the world, a world without hope or the possibility of a new dawn.  So this is one exam Rich has to ace, with no curve and no extra credit.

Here's one of several excerpts to give you a sneak peak of the book: 
They arrived, and Rich pointed to the door. “Here we are. Detention.”
            Aaron backed away a few steps, “What does this mean? It sounds unpleasant.”
            Rich shrugged with one shoulder. “It’s not really too bad. They keep us locked up in a room without speaking for a while and make us work.”
            Aaron’s face went pale. “Are they going to cast us into a dungeon? Do they have torture devices?”
            Rich’s face broadened in a laugh. “No, not unless you consider the old desks torture devices. Come on, it’s only for half an hour.”
            “Surely there is a way to protest this unjust treatment. You did nothing wrong. I thought your society had progressed beyond such barbarism,” said Aaron.

            “Society, maybe. But here in high school, we’re still in the Dark Ages.” 

One more cool thing about this book . . . There's a playlist! Get jammin' to these great tunes to get an idea of the vibe of this cool novel. 
“Lux Aeterna” from “Requiem for a Dream”
 “Prologue” from the “Harry Potter Soundtrack”
 “We Didn’t Start the Fire” by Billy Joel
 “Arival at Aslan’s How” from “The Chronicles of Narnia”
 “The Impossible Dream” from “Man of LaMancha”)
 “Chariot’s of Fire” by Vangelis
“Hello” by Lionel Ritchie
“One-Winged Angel” from “Final Fantasy”
 “Chevaliers de Sangreal” from “The DaVinci Code”

Buy it Here:

My Review: 
I really like the concept of this well thought out book. The plot is unraveled bit by bit like pulling on a string that unravels a sweater. Lots of questions and cliffhangers keep the pace moving along.  

The characters are well rounded with strengths and weaknesses and very little info dump. You can get to know the characters as they get to know themselves. Rich is especially well crafted. 

There are lots of twists and turns to figure out who is a good guy, who is a bad guy and who just may be an innocent bystander caught in the cross fire. 

The dialogue is suited for the age group and will make a fairly easy and fast read for the intended audience. 

My only real hangup is the structure of the ending. It happens in an odd place for me. I dearly hope there is a sequel/series to finish out this tantalizing story and answer all my questions. In other words, I want more.