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by Traci L. Slatton
Edition: Paperback
Price: $14.55
13 used & new from $7.92

5.0 out of 5 stars great philosophical religious WWII drama, September 20, 2014
This review is from: Broken (Paperback)
Tracie L. Slatton
Parvati Press, Sep 5 2014, $16.99
ISBN: 9780986061158

In 1939 earth time Alia mourns the loss of Ariel by leaving Heaven to take on mortal form just before Paris falls. A self-anointed fallen angel, the hedonistic Alia insists she cares nothing about the beleaguered Broken Parisians and even less with the evil Nazi occupiers to come.

However, Alia enjoys sex with her sweet ferocious lover, half-Spaniard, half German Jew Pedro the bullfighter, whose father abandoned him and his mom in Spain while he was still in the womb. Archangel Michael questions Alia why here when she knows the torment to follow. She insists she did not lose her way; that God did by allowing this mad Führer loose on his so-called beloved mortals. Michael reminds her she has one miracle to offer, he prays she wisely uses it. As the war intensifies and unthinkable atrocities occur, Alia meets Josef the Jewish physicist, mathematician and violinist, and soon to be her lover. As the years pass, Alia’s day of reckoning that Michael predicted finally arrives when she must choose between continual self-indulgence and sacrifice to save the lives of her friend Jewish widow Suzanne Dubois and her child Cecile.

Though the action is somewhat muted, Broken is a great philosophical WWII drama that focuses on a fallen angel who no longer believes God cares. The key cast is fully-developed with diverse reactions to what is happening to the Jews and not just Hitler’s Final Solution as Josef learned in Antwerp and others in Cuba and America; while real persona like Sartre adds a powerful sense of time and place. Tracie L. Slatton provides a profound look at religion during a crisis of faith in which even angels question whether God abandoned the flock.

Harriet Klausner
Comment Comments (6) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 21, 2014 12:45 PM PDT

Shadows on a Maine Christmas: An Antique Print Mystery
Shadows on a Maine Christmas: An Antique Print Mystery
by Lea Wait
Edition: Paperback
Price: $13.98
36 used & new from $9.01

4.0 out of 5 stars enjoyable cozy, September 20, 2014
Shadows on a Maine Christmas: An Antique Print Mystery
Lea Wait
Perseverance, Sep 9 2014, $15.95
ISBN 9781564745477

Lovers Will Brower resides in Maine while antique dealer Maggie Summer lives in New Jersey. Besides the issues of a long distance relationship, the couple disagrees over adopting a child. Will insists never; while Maggie may soon raise a little girl or two young sisters. However, the couple agrees to share a Maine Christmas.

Maggie the obsessive anxiety queen fears when she tells her beloved about the potential adoption, he will kick her butt back to the Garden State. She adores the way he cares for his ailing Aunt Nettie, but panics his caretaking blinds him to nurturing others. She also frets over his desire to remain in the Pine Tree State as affirmed by Will his seeking to buy a home. However, Maggie biggest consternation is that she lost her Will to realtor Jo Heartwood. Needing to forget her trepidations, Maggie wonders what Aunt Nettie and her longtime friends imply criminally happened when they were much younger. When someone murders geriatric nurse Carrie Folk; Maggie, Maine State Trooper Nick Strait and Aunt Nettie investigate especially after learning that the victim was a blackmailer.

Returning to Maine (see Shadows on the Coast of Maine and Shadows of a Down East Summer), the seventh Antique Print cozy (see Shadows on a Cape Cod Wedding) is an enjoyable entry in which the secondary elderly characters especially one with dementia own the storyline. The homicide investigation begins late though the informal inquiry into what happened decades ago starts very early; as Lea Wait provides a deep look at senior citizen mental health, abortion and adoption.

Harriet Klausner
Comment Comments (14) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 21, 2014 2:42 PM PDT

The Eyes of Aurora: A Fifth Case from the Notebooks of Pliny the Younger
The Eyes of Aurora: A Fifth Case from the Notebooks of Pliny the Younger
by Albert A. Bell Jr.
Edition: Paperback
Price: $13.20
39 used & new from $9.03

5.0 out of 5 stars twisting complicated Ancient Rome revenge thriller, September 20, 2014
The Eyes Of Aurora
Albert A. Bell, Jr.
Perseverance: Sep 9 2014 $15.95
ISBN: 9781564745491

At the Centumviral Court, Gaius Pliny successfully prosecutes the case for his future mother-in-law Pompeia Celerina against rival defense Marcus Regulus who represented Quintus Vibius. Pliny’s martinet mother and Pompeia host a victory celebration that includes toasting the upcoming wedding between their children though Pliny loves his slave Aurora instead of his wealthy beautiful fiancée Livilla.

Aurora recently met impoverished Crispina and her ailing son. She persuades Pliny and his friend Tacitus to accompany her in order to help Crispina. When they arrive at Crispina’s home, they find neither her nor her son in residence; left behind is an enigmatic word square. The trio soon finds out that raging Regulus arrived before them and a further search of the grounds reveals a decapitated female body. Horrified by the gruesome sight of a headless corpse, Aurora and Pliny find comfort with each.

The fifth Notebooks of Pliny the Younger (see The Corpus Conundrum and Death in the Ashes) is a twisting complicated Ancient Rome revenge thriller with additional stunning spins in the protagonist’s personal relationships. Although the case turns overly byzantine, readers will relish traveling the Ostian Way; escorted by Pliny and Aurora.

Harriet Klausner
Comment Comments (6) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 21, 2014 12:29 PM PDT

The Texan's Twins (Harlequin American Romance\Texas Rodeo B)
The Texan's Twins (Harlequin American Romance\Texas Rodeo B)
by Pamela Britton
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $4.95
46 used & new from $0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars warm family drama, September 19, 2014
The Texan’s Twins
Pamela Britton
Harlequin American Romance, Sep 2 2014, $5.50
ISBN: 9780373755356

In the middle of a field in Nowhere, Texas, Jet Baron goes to meet J.C. Marks. However, instead of the male project engineer just hired by Baron Energies, he sees a beautiful woman. He assumes the female is a stripper sent as a joke. After that auspicious start, arrogant Jet continues to step into sh*t including offering to meet no-nonsense Jasmine Caroline Marks for breakfast; while she mocks his occupation of rodeo performer and scorns his skirt chasing.

Attracted to the feisty engineer, Jet learns she is the single mother of twin girls (Brooke and Gwen) whose father, her fiancé, Darren died before she gave birth. As they work together, Jet and J.C. fall in love, but her kids come first especially when Brooke becomes ill; reminding the harried mother heartbreakingly of what happened to Darren.

The fourth Texas Rodeo Barons romance (see The Texan's Little Secret by Barbara White Daille and The Texan’s Cowgirl Bride by Trish Milburn) is a warm family novel starring a seemingly care-free philanderer and a stressed-out mom. The strong females (his sister Lizzie - see The Texan's Baby by Donna Alward, the engineer, and the twins) make this a winning contemporary; while their male counterparts (Jet, his dad and Lizzie’s mate Chris) struggle to live up to the high standards the women and girls set.

Harriet Klausner
Comment Comments (12) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 21, 2014 11:43 AM PDT

Promises Under the Peach Tree (Harlequin Superromance)
Promises Under the Peach Tree (Harlequin Superromance)
by Joanne Rock
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $6.08
37 used & new from $1.31

4.0 out of 5 stars profound small-town Volunteer State drama, September 19, 2014
Promises Under The Peach Tree
Joanne Rock
Harlequin SuperRomance, Sep 2 2014, $6.75
ISBN: 9780373608706

After her partner absconded with their funds leading to their bakery failing in New York, Nina Spencer returns home back to Heartache, Tennessee to be with her ailing beloved Gram; who raised her when her parents divorced each other and their only child. Mack Finley rarely returns to Heartache, but left Nashville to help his siblings with the Harvest Festival with this year’s gala honoring his late dad who used to manage the annual event when he was the town mayor.

Over eight years ago when they were high school students, Nina and Mack were sweethearts, but their breakup was ugly. When they meet for the first time in years, Nina and Mack know they still love each other. However, both also fear the risk on their respective hearts if they take that repeat first leap of faith.

Though the second chance romance between Mack and Nina is the prime storyline, Promises Under The Peach Tree contains vigorous secondary plots involving health issues, diversity and a failing marriage. Readers will appreciate this profound small-town Volunteer State drama.

Harriet Klausner
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 20, 2014 5:19 PM PDT

This Good Man (Harlequin Superromance\The Mysteries of)
This Good Man (Harlequin Superromance\The Mysteries of)
by Janice Kay Johnson
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $6.08
39 used & new from $1.14

4.0 out of 5 stars insightful character-driven police procedural, September 19, 2014
This Good Man
Janice Kay Johnson
Harlequin SuperRomance, Sep 2 2014, $6.75
ISBN: 9780373608683

Filled with guilt, Family Violence Unit police captain Reid Sawyer returns to the Spokane area when he learns he has a much younger teenage half-brother Caleb. Reid assumes his violent dad, who battered him and his mother including getting away with uxoricide, would do likewise with his surly fifteen years offspring whose mom abandoned him three years ago. Reid says he is damaged so cannot take Caleb with him, but offers to place him with friends off the grid until he turns eighteen. Reid takes a position with the Angel Butte’s Police Department before taking a battered Caleb to live with the couple Roger and Paula Hale who saved his life decades ago.

When social worker Anna Grant demands ABPD search for a thirteen years old runaway, Reid intervenes and orders his officer to look for the kid. Meanwhile, he and Anna are attracted to each other, but though it could cost him his job, Reid conceals from her where he hid Caleb in order to protect the kind Hale couple and to keep his brother safe. He is unaware that Anna’s traumatic childhood in the foster care system left her damaged and her sister dead.

The fourth Mysteries Of Angel Butte (see Cop By Her Side, Bringing Maddie Home and Everywhere She Goes) is a timely (think NFL) character-driven police procedural mindful of the Law & Order: Special Victims Unit as the storyline takes a deep look at the impact of child abuse. The lead couple share in common love for each other, dedication to their jobs and damaged psyches from their troubled childhood. Leisurely-paced with the romance taking a back seat to the abuse plot, Janice Kay Johnson provides an intense drama.

Harriet Klausner
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 20, 2014 5:14 PM PDT

Frozen Heart, Melting Kiss (Harlequin Romance)
Frozen Heart, Melting Kiss (Harlequin Romance)
by Ellie Darkins
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $5.39
36 used & new from $1.40

5.0 out of 5 stars engaging jocular culinary romance, September 18, 2014
Frozen Heart, Melting Kiss
Ellie Darkins
Harlequin Romance, Sep 2 2014, $5.99
ISBN: 9780373743070

Rachel begged Maya Hartney of Maya’s Delight to cater the Appleby and Associates gala. Maya’s greatest sensation is to watch people go orgasmic over her food. So when, Rachel’s boss Will Thomas treats her gourmet spread like fine junk food, she’s hurt by his reaction, one that she never had before. As she leaves, Maya realizes his treatment of her reminds her of her parents quick to write her off. However, his boss Sir Cuthbert Appleby lectures him for whatever he did to hurt Maya and demands he take time off before he burns out; threatening to end the pro bono work Will does for the worthy Julia House.

Will visits Maya at her house to persuade her to change her mind and cater the office dinner; she adamantly refuses as his descriptor “fine” is not good enough for her to cook the meals. He offers to be a student in her one-week cooking, but since that is filled she counters with one-on-one lessons. As they cook, kiss and fuss, the caterer and the workaholic fall in love.

This culinary romance is an engaging jocular contemporary. The student fears heart-felt personal relationships and the instructor’s only previous passion has been cooking culinary delights for appreciative people. Ellie Darkins bakes a warm (can’t use fine in order not to alienate Maya) romance.

Harriet Klausner
Comment Comments (6) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 20, 2014 12:03 PM PDT

Course of Action: The Rescue: Jaguar Night\Amazon Gold (Harlequin Romantic Suspense)
Course of Action: The Rescue: Jaguar Night\Amazon Gold (Harlequin Romantic Suspense)
by Lindsay McKenna
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $4.95
48 used & new from $0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars action-packed military romances, September 18, 2014
Course Of Action: The Rescue
Lindsay McKenna and Merline Lovelace
Harlequin Romantic Suspense, Sep 2 2014, $5.50
ISBN: 9780373278855

“Jaguar Night” by Lindsay McKenna. In the Amazon Rainforest, a drug lord abducts volunteer nurse Aly Landon. Marine Staff Sergeant Josh Patterson liberates her from the vicious gang. Now they must trek a hundred miles in a rough terrain with deadly force in pursuit, and her still hurt from her captivity and not in shape for such a march. Josh admires her tenacity, but soon falls in love with the brave Aly.

“Amazon Gold” by Merline Lovelace. In Peru, Naval Chief Charlene Dawson and her RCB crew conveys by sea Delta Force Sergeant First Class Jack Halliday and his team into the Amazon. His mission is to take down former teammate turned rogue drug dealer Sean McMasters. Neither Charley nor Jack anticipated an attraction, but both feel the pull.

The second Course of Action Sidewinders military romance duology contains two action-packed plots due to the strong protagonists working dangerous operations while falling in love in the exotic Amazon.

Harriet Klausner
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 19, 2014 3:23 PM PDT

Lethal Seasons (Changed World) (Volume 1)
Lethal Seasons (Changed World) (Volume 1)
by Alice Sabo
Edition: Paperback
Price: $13.15
9 used & new from $13.15

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars exciting but grim post-apocalyptic thriller, September 18, 2014
Lethal Seasons
Alice Sabo
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, Aug 6 2014, $15.00
ISBN: 9781500526627

In what afterward became known by survivors as Year Zero, a maniac released a virus leaving estimates of 40% of the world population dead and all governments unable to cope with a pandemic of that magnitude. Every summer for the next decade since Year Zero, the virus returns with a new lethal strain to continue the devastation of humanity and the end of urban centers.

Nick, who lost his loved ones to the disease, travels what is left of the United States as a census counter. When he finds two corpses who apparently killed each other; Nick would rejoice that there is one less mercenary causing havoc; but mourns for the other dead person since child bearing age and younger females are the most critical demographic if mankind is to survive. His mission now is to find and rescue the deceased woman’s siblings while teams of marauders stalk these youngsters and his home High Meadow is under assault.

Mindful of the Kevin Costner movie The Postman, the first Changed World post-apocalyptic thriller is an exciting but grim novel as survival of the deadliest is the way of life (outside of High Meadow) since Year Zero. Although the key cast is underdeveloped, Alice Sabo authors a twisting tense tale of an America (like the rest of the earth) continual out of control spiral deeper into the darkest era since recorded history began, but with tiny lights of hope like Nick.

Harriet Klausner
Comment Comments (8) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 20, 2014 12:11 PM PDT

Accidents of Marriage: A Novel
Accidents of Marriage: A Novel
by Randy Susan Meyers
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $15.81
43 used & new from $15.45

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars insightful look at the impact of rage on a family, September 17, 2014
Accidents Of Marriage
Randy Susan Meyers
Atria, Sep 2 2014, $25.00
ISBN: 9781451673043

Married for fifteen years, social worker Maddy and attorney Ben raise three children (fourteen years old Emma, nine years old Gracie and seven years old Caleb) in Jamaica Plains, Massachusetts. Recently Maddy feels overwhelmed by her work and her children’s needs, but the greatest pressure comes from her quick to anger husband.

Ben drives to work, but rushes back home to gather needed papers he left behind. Maddy calls Ben begging he pick her up in a bad area as the cops towed her vehicle away for failing to register the car and taxis refuse to stop. Angrily, Ben cancels a critical meeting and drives over to pick up his wife. When he gets into a road rage contest with another foolish driver, Ben loses control and crashes; leaving Maddy in a coma. Now Ben and the three kids struggle with the family glue comatose.

This is an insightful look at the impact of rage on a family. The crucial powerful premise is the realistic diverse ways the extended family, coworkers and friends behave before the accident; while Maddy is comatose; and after she regains consciousness. Accidents Of Marriage pulls no punches as Randy Susan Meyers writes a profound novel.

Harriet Klausner
Comment Comments (7) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 18, 2014 11:17 PM PDT

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