Friday, July 25, 2014

Royal Secrets

In a way, this is a continuation of Royal Target. The story involves all the characters we came to love in the first book but we get to know an old character more in depth along with a new character.

In the throes of creating a royal wedding, Janessa employs an old friend, Alora, to help her. Alora is a young widow with two young boys. Her arrival at the royal family's summer home coincides with the physical recovery of Prince Stefano. They end up spending time together and you can guess the rest.

But as they say, the course of true love never did run smooth and it’s certainly not easy on multiple fronts for Alora and Stefano. Intrigue, betrayal, bombs, missing funds, gunfire, hostages and religious differences are just a few things standing between them. Makes your own everyday romance seem like a cake walk!

Ms. Abramson brings all her best stuff back to the table: emotional tension, spy tactics, mistrust, misunderstanding, and wonderful romance to name a few. Clean romance, just kisses. 

A quick read that doesn't disappoint and makes you wish there were a third prince or a first princess so we could read a third book in this too short series!

It’s been three years since the tragic Christmas Eve when CIA agent Alora DeSanto returned from a doctor’s appointment to find her husband dead and her Paris home destroyed by a terrorist firebomb. Still mourning her heavy loss, she seeks a new life for herself and her two young sons by accepting a job offer from her friend and fellow agent Janessa Rogers, who is engaged to Prince Garrett of Meridia. As Janessa’s personal assistant, Alora takes up residence in the royal chateau in Bellamo, where Prince Stefano is recovering from a possible assassination attempt and reeling from some life-shattering news of his own. As their paths repeatedly cross, Alora and Stefano are surprised by a budding attraction that draws them together in friendship. But as their hesitant affection evolves into romance, royal secrets plunge them into plots of espionage and blackmail that threaten all they hold dear—including each other. And as enemies arise to crush the Meridia monarchy, Alora must confront the fears that destroyed her past before they destroy her future. 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014


Not sure how long this one has been out, but I'd been curious to see it.

The concept is intriguing. Earth only has one inhabitable area and it's one couple's job to secure that area against the scavengers. They are only two weeks away from freedom, i.e. returning to space. Except, the guy is to curious, has dreams that feel like memories, and has built himself a forbidden retreat on the ground.

Lots of interesting twists. It kept me guessing and entertained. But somethings were obvious, like who the mystery girl was that we're likely in for a happy ever after. Always fun to watch an actor/actress have to play multiple parts. Hard to discuss the plot without giving things away.

One question: why does the redhead never have any underwear on? Great clothes. But really?

So, PG-13 for nudity, guns, violence, you get the idea.

Worth a view? Yes. In fact I might want to watch it again.

Worth a buy? Maybe. For the right price, as in really cheap.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Royal Target

This is my first read by Traci Hunter Abramson. I'd heard good things about her writing from friends and she has more than a few book under her belt, so I knew I should be in for some good writing. I wasn't wrong or disappointed.

Romantic spy novel? Yes, please!

Under cover CIA? A Prince? A conspiracy? Love? Secrets?

I don't think you need more hints.

Really enjoyed the characters. Believable, emotional, thoroughly enjoyable. Right balance of dialogue and description. Back and forth go the hearts and conflicts.

A good solid clean romance and a quick read.

Order me another. Hooray, I'm off to read the sequel.

When CIA agent Janessa Rogers meets the royal family of Meridia on assignment, she expects to use her skills in linguistics and security detail to protect and serve, but she doesn't expect to find herself engaged to Prince Garrett Fortier, Meridia's most eligible bachelor, as part of the security plan. And she certainly doesn't expect to fall in love with him.
Janessa resists her feelings, fearing conflicts in her personal and professional life, yet when the Prince admits his feigned affection has become genuine she can no longer pretend. Matters of security, society, and spirituality make their unlikely romance even more complex, and escalating political intrigue gives Janessa an excuse to ignore the questions in her heart. But when a terrorist plot against the royal family endangers them both, Janessa and Garrett must face the challenges of loyalty to family, to country, to God — and to love.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014


So I guess this one is based on a comic book series?

Pretty simple plot. Guy dies. Wishes he wasn't dead so he could still be with his wife. Gets the choice of going to hell or being an after life cop. He picks option 2, assumes the identity of an older Asian man, and gets partnered up with an Old West Marshall to fight the Deados.

Seems plausible. Right the wrongs. Save the world. Exact revenge on his old partner. Redeem his soul. But you can't be made alive again. Bummer. Kills the romance aspect in a big way.

Some funny moments. Esp. when the camera view switches from who the cops really are as to how the living see them. Good cast.

This one is sort of in the middle to low end of the spectrum. I can't imagine there would be a sequel even though they left it open for one.

Worth a view? Sure. I watched it for free one night. And it's pretty short as films go.

Worth a buy? No. I would not pay money for this film. I imagine it didn't do well at the box office. Some stories are better left as comics.

Is there an untold comic series worth turning into a movie?

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Pistols and Pies

Pistols and Pies by Heather Justesen is the second culinary murder mystery in this Sweet Bites Mystery series.

It's every bit as yummy as the first!

Poor Tess. That girl keeps finding bodies. She's going to need a therapist soon. Maybe in book 3 or 4? New characters are always fun, right? Like Lenny, alive, large, and wanting to be in charge. His subplot was wonderful to watch unfold. Then there's hunky Shawn and more steady Jack. Sigh. What's a girl to do? Nearly die trying to solve a murder case apparently! Again.

But I loved seeing several old characters back too. Tess can't get through life without Honey. Frankly, we all need a Honey. Happy for those who have a bestie like her. They are hard to come by and very precious when found. Tingey gets a softer side for just a moment or two.

This book is equally balanced between plot driven and character driven. Well written, polished, clean, and a fast read.

Now it's time to get baking. That's my favorite. All desserts!

When will the next murder be? How soon can we get yummy new recipes to try? Who will Tess pick to be the love in her life?

Tess thought her sleuthing days were behind her after she nearly died solving her first murder, but when a city councilman is killed at the opening of the new fitness center, and his step son is the detective’s favorite suspect, she gets roped into proving the teenager is innocent. When the killer ups the stakes, Tess is forced to put herself in danger or risk the life of someone she cares about.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

A Perfect Fit

So, I decided to take the majority of summer off to read the books on my shelf that have sat waiting patiently for their turn. Some of them have been waiting nine months already, while I reviewed many other quality books of fellow authors. And let's not talk about all the ones waiting on my Nook and Kindle. (Shudder)

It was a tough choice, but I grabbed A Perfect Fit: A DiCarlo Brides Novel by Heather Tullis.

I wanted a good looking romance and the cover made the choice easy. Bridal dress with flowers. Perfect.

So, the unlikely, but not impossible scenario on which this book, and presumably the series is based, makes for a great start. Bunch of women thrown together to open their deceased philandering father's newest hotel, makes for excellent drama and emotional pull. Throw in some handsome men, a creep and a year's contract and you have yourself a novel.

This one focuses on the oldest daughter, Cami. I noticed all the daughters had flower names. Did the father have a thing for flowers and why didn't the moms protest? Cami is hardest hit by her father's secret. I noticed she kept observing all the time, but kept shelving certain questions to be asked later, except some of them she never got back to. I'm hoping all those questions get answered in the rest of the series as each sister finds true love. At least that's the premise I'm working on for the remainder of the series. Cami is an intelligent, attractive twenty-something who just ditched an unpromising boyfriend and who's emotions are all over the map. That's normal for her particular situation.

The dialogue and emotional ride all flow well together and are very believable. A light element of suspense with mild violence.

It's a pretty clean romance. There are some smoky kisses and off page sex, but thankfully no sex scenes. One four-letter word.

I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the series and seeing how each character progresses and which guy she ends up with.

My only question is . . . Will it be a group wedding in the final book?

Cami DiCarlo doesn’t agree with her father that her life has been stuck in a rut, so she is not happy when he forces her hand into heading up guest services at his newest five-star hotel. The fact that he unveils the existence of four half-sisters at the same time, and insists that they live together while they launch the new resort, only makes things worse. 

When she meets Vince Talmadge, the sweet, sexy landscaper her father would never have approved of, Cami can’t say no. If only she could be sure she is on the right track—and that they will be able to stop the person who is trying to destroy everything she and her sisters are working to build.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

The Lego Movie

It was weird. I didn't get it.

That being said, the graphics were top notch and my kids enjoyed it and would like to watch it again. I don't need another viewing.

The Legos were cute and the vocal cast was great, but the story line was weak and then it went into live action, which totally pulled me out of the flimsy story. And it wasn't nearly as funny as I'd hoped.

It just didn't work for me. I know I'm in the minority for this one. I'm okay with that.

Will you kids like it? Yes. Good for all ages.

Worth a view? Once.

Worth a buy? No.

Did you like it?