Another Burning Cove Novel: Tightrope by Amanda Quick

Tightrope book cover Amanda Quick’s Tightrope is another historical romantic suspense set in the early 1930s in Burning Cove.

The book came out in May and I finally read it a few weeks ago. I think I liked it best of the three books set in Burning Cove, and although I have a feeling this was the last one of that series, I’m kind of hoping not. I really wanted to see Luthor Pell get his own book. I don’t think that’s going to happen though. This book felt a little like closure.

In this one, I had a hard time getting used to Amalie’s name, but I liked her and reading the book felt like time well spent.

I miss the focus on the relationships that Quick’s books used to have, but all her books are still enjoyable. I will admit, I don’t re-read most of the newer books, but I do still revisit my Amanda Quick favorites. Some of that might be a change in focus in the books, and some of that might just be me. These days, it does feel like it takes something really special to feel new and fresh.

Tightrope by Amanda Quick

An unconventional woman and a man shrouded in mystery walk a tightrope of desire as they race against a killer to find a top secret invention in this New York Times bestselling novel from Amanda Quick.

Former trapeze artist Amalie Vaughn moved to Burning Cove to reinvent herself, but things are not going well. After spending her entire inheritance on a mansion with the intention of turning it into a bed-and-breakfast, she learns too late that the villa is said to be cursed. When the first guest, Dr. Norman Pickwell, is murdered by his robot invention during a sold-out demonstration, rumors circulate that the curse is real.

In the chaotic aftermath of the spectacle, Amalie watches as a stranger from the audience disappears behind the curtain. When Matthias Jones reappears, he is slipping a gun into a concealed holster. It looks like the gossip that is swirling around him is true—Matthias evidently does have connections to the criminal underworld.

Matthias is on the trail of a groundbreaking prototype cipher machine. He suspects that Pickwell stole the device and planned to sell it. But now Pickwell is dead and the machine has vanished. When Matthias’s investigation leads him to Amalie’s front door, the attraction between them is intense, but she knows it is also dangerous. Amalie and Matthias must decide if they can trust each other and the passion that binds them, because time is running out.

If you want a copy, or just some more info, you can find it at Amazon.

Amanda Quick’s latest

I went on a bit of reading binge recently and caught up with Amanda Quick’s latest books. It was a binge I enjoyed very much, since Amanda Quick remains one of my favorite authors of historical romance and suspense.

The Girl Who Knew Too Much and The Other Lady Vanishes are set in the 1930s which is a nice change. All the usual Amanda Quick touches are there, from the modern, forward-thinking heroine to the enlightened hero and an element of suspense. I know authors can’t stay in a rut forever, but I do miss Quick’s earlier heroes and more quirky heroines (such as Gideon and Harriet from Ravished, still one of my favorite books). These new ones are just a little too similar for me to enjoy to the fullest. On the other hand, having Oliver of The Girl Who Knew Too Much be a magician was different enough to be memorable. Burning Cove is the link between these two books, and it appears there’s another coming in May. Tightrope looks interesting so I’ll be keeping my eye out for it.

I also read ‘Til Death Do Us Part and it was my favorite of the three. Calista and Trent and the people around them felt more familiar to me than some of the Quick’s newer characters, and I liked that quite a lot.

If you’re a fan, and you haven’t read these yet, they’re worth the time. The links above will take you to Amazon if you want to know more.

Favorites Are Re-readable

I have a lot of favorite authors. Then there are all the authors I really like, but I can’t quite call them favorites, because to me, favorites are re-readable.

No, not just re-readable, favorites write books that I actively seek out to reread.

Amanda Quick has many books in this category for me, including Ravished, Deception, and Mistress. Just thinking about those books often tickles my desire to go find them on my shelves and read them again.

The same for David Eddings’ Belgariad series, or L.E. Modesitt Jr.’s Recluce books.

Another favorite that writes books I want to reread is Johanna Lindsey. Angel Warrior’s Woman, Gentle Rogue, and Deny Not the Heart are still books that I go back to as comfort reads to this day, years (+20! years) later. (I happen to have the paperback editions with the original Fabio covers and my children will have to pry them out of my cold, dead hands.)

But there are some authors who write great books that I really love but that I just never seem to want to reread. I don’t know what to call these authors, because they don’t fit my favorites definition, but they by all means write fantastic book.

It’s a quandary. Because for whatever reason, I have no desire to go back and read their books again.

Eloisa James, for instance, is one of these authors. I love her books, and I seek them out, but I never have that desire to reread any of them and I’m not sure why. Her books are usually excellent reads, and I like the characters (most of the time), but there’s not a single one of her books I can point to and say I want to read again.

That’s why you’ll find a limited assortment of favorites here. Because great books do not necessarily make favorite books. Favorites are those I want to reread.

Which reminds me. I’ve had a hankering for that opening in The Martian again, so I think I’ll go dig it out of my Kindle. I do have a paperback edition of The Martian that I really like (trade sized and very flexible) but it’s upstairs in the office I’m trying to convert to a library, a project that’s been in the works for about a year because I haven’t found the particular bookshelves I want and need to finish the project.

Favorites are worth buying in print—you know, in case civilization falls and I have only enough power to keep a flashlight charged for rereading the books I already love. ;)

How do you decide what makes a favorite?

Quick Review: Fanning the Flames by Victoria Dahl

This book was a good find for me. I happen to love shorter novels and novellas, and Fanning the Flames is a first in series novella. From what I can tell, it’s also part of a bigger series, so really it’s a prequel for a series within a series.

Not the same cover as when I read it, but still nice. ;)

Series: Girls’ Night Out book 0 (0 meaning prequel); Jackson book 4

I’d just finished reading A Little Bit Wild by Victoria Dahl and came across this one in her book list and decided first up I was going to check out all the shorter stuff. (Her book list is not up to date unfortunately! I really wish authors would take more care to keep this stuff current.)

I liked so much about this story, but since it is short, I don’t want to say too much because it might spoil the fun. However, I can say that I really liked Lauren. I’m usually a bigger fan of the men in romance novels than the women, but for once, I really liked the main female character—and liked her more than the guy.

Not that Jake wasn’t a good hero, it’s just that I liked Lauren a lot. Honestly, I think she’s the closest mirror of myself I’ve ever read in a character. It was freakish at times. Which probably explains why I liked her so much.

All that said, this was a fun read, the sexy times were entertaining, and the ending was satisfying. Pick it up and give it a chance if you like contemporary romance stories.

Here’s the description.

Or follow these links for details and reviews at Amazon or Kobo!

Fanning the Flames by Victoria Dahl

Burning for you

Some men are off-limits. Close friends of your ex-husband, for instance. Or firefighters who work in the same building as you. Yet despite her best judgment, librarian Lauren Foster can’t help noticing fire captain Jake Davis whenever he jogs by…shirtless. They’ve always been friends, but all it takes is one not-so-chance meeting at a local bar and one not-quite-innocent walk home to ignite a fierce, uncontrollable desire between them.

Widower Jake Davis has tried to ignore the spark he feels whenever Lauren’s around, but once he sees her curves in a little black dress, there’s no turning back. No matter how often she says she’s all wrong for him, the sexy, outspoken divorcée is driving him wild in the best possible way. Maybe she’s just blowing off steam. Or maybe he can convince her to fan these flames into something deeper, hotter and truer than they ever expected….

If you do pick up this book, come back and tell me what you think!

Quick Review: The Martian

The Martian by Andy Weir is one of those books that you embarrass yourself talking about with everyone you meet because it’s just so good you can’t not talk about it.

The Martian - Andy WeirThat’s what happened to me, anyway. Maybe you have more self-control. I wasn’t even finished with the book before I called my mother, who is also an avid reader, and started gushing about this one.

The thing about The Martian is that it surprises you. It’s an unassuming book, with a fun but predictable “man versus wild” / “man against nature” theme that we’ve all read plenty of times before, and yet … it’s not.

I knew within the first five pages that this was a special book for me and it turned out I was right. I devoured this book in one morning because once I started reading it, I couldn’t quit.

The Martian is a simple story. Mark Watney is an astronaut who gets trapped on Mars, left behind, left for dead, and since he isn’t the kind of man to just give up, he has to figure out how to survive, alone, until the next Mars mission brings a rescue—assuming there’s going to be a next mission.

That’s where the story opens and the book is the story of how Mark deals with his deadly and outrageous predicament. Where it goes is somewhere wonderful, making The Martian one of my favorite books of all time.

I highly recommend you get your own copy of The Martian if you haven’t read it yet.

 

TBR List: Newest Additions

I have a huge TBR list. Most of you probably know exactly what I’m talking about. My problem is that I do hope to someday get to most of the books on my list, but the fact is that I’m probably going to be lucky to crack the spines (or the virtual spines, in most cases) of one percent of all the books I already know I want to read someday.

That, however, doesn’t stop me from adding new books to the list every chance I get. ;)

Here are some of the newest additions (and some of these books are most certainly not new, but they’re new to me).

  • Proxima by Stephen Baxter
  • Joy in the Morning by P. G. Wodehouse
  • Trust No One by Jayne Ann Krentz
  • Serpent by Clive Cussler
  • Star Bridge by James Gunn
  • Falling Sky by Rajan Khanna
  • Sex and the Single Earl by Vanessa Kelly
  • The Thin Man by Dashiell Hammett
  • Goliath by Richard Turner
  • Psion by Joan D. Vinge
  • Claimed by Evangeline Anderson
  • Burglars Can’t Be Choosers by Lawrence Block
  • The Burglar in the Closet by Lawrence Block
  • The Charnel Prince by Greg Keyes
  • The Mystery Woman by Amanda Quick
  • The Sword of Bedwyr by R. A. Salvatore

Some of these books are quite old, but since I’ve never read them, they’re still new to me. :)

Revisiting Old Favorites: Amanda Quick’s Mischief, Affair, and Deception

I have a weakness for Amanda Quick’s historical romance novels, especially those from before her paranormal phase. Ravished, MistressMischiefDeception, Affair  these are five of my favorites and I had a chance to read MischiefAffair, and Deception for the umpteenth this past week or so and I had a great time doing it.

Mischief - Amanda Quick Affair - Amanda Quick Deception - Amanda Quick

I have a difficult time sometimes putting into words why I liked (or didn’t like) a book I’ve read, but I’ll see what I can come up with for these three books.

Mischief

Mischief is a fun book, and I liked the fake romance (that of course turns into a real romance right away). And then there’s the treasure map and the fact that it couldn’t be clearer these two belong together. I won’t spoil the fun, but it’s obvious in the first ten pages why. I don’t know what it is in particular that makes this book stand out from some of the others, but it does, and it remains one of my favorites. Get your own copy of this book.

Affair

I’ve always thought Affair had an especially strong opening. It plops me right into a compelling story that I can’t resist. Note to self: don’t read the first chapter of any of these books if I don’t have any time I can devote to reading, because if I do, I’ll end up reading the entire book. That’s what happened with my reread of Affair. I read an excerpt of chapter one at the end of Mischief and ended up having to read this entire book again. It is definitely a great book and was well worth reading just one more time. Get your own copy of this book.

Deception

Deception is my all-time favorite Amanda Quick book after Ravished. The pirate angle is charming and I adore Jared Chillhurst … and his pocket watch. In fact, this entire book works so well that I have a hard time not wishing Ms. Quick would discover some distant relative of Jared’s and write a story about him. I simply adore this book and I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve read it because I lost count years ago. If I had to recommend only two Amanda Quick books to someone, this one would be one of those books. Get your own copy of this book.

Quick Review: A Talent for War

A Talent For War by Jack McDevitt was an intriguing read that I enjoyed quite a bit, not so much for the science fiction, but for the mystery.

Jack McDevitt - A Talent for War

If I had to label this book, I’d call it science fiction mystery. There are plenty of intriguing sci-fi elements present in the book, but the fact is, the mystery is what propels the story onward.

A Talent for War is book 1 of the Alex Benedict series.

This was a good story, one that kept me intrigued up until the end. I’m definitely interested in reading the follow up books in the series.

From Amazon:

The acclaimed classic novel and fan favorite—the far-future story of one man’s quest to discover the truth behind a galactic war hero.

Artful by Peter David, my June choice in the Kindle First program

Artful - Peter David

I chose Artful by Peter David this month from among the choices in the Kindle First program for Amazon Prime members.

There were other books to chose from, but I enjoy fantasy, and this cover appealed to me. The description also caught my attention. :)

Oliver Twist is one of the most well-known stories ever told, about a young orphan who has to survive the mean streets of London before ultimately being rescued by a kindly benefactor.

But it is his friend, the Artful Dodger, who has the far more intriguing tale, filled with more adventure and excitement than anything boring Oliver could possibly get up to. Throw in some vampires and a plot to overthrow the British monarchy, and what you have is the thrilling account that Charles Dickens was too scared to share with the world.

From the brilliant mind of novelist and comic book veteran Peter David, Artful is the dark, funny, and action-packed story of one of the most fascinating characters in literary history.

With vampires.

How could I pass this one up?

The Odd Thomas Movie

I’ve had Odd Thomas in the sidebar for long enough that anyone who visits here should know I really like Odd Thomas. So imagine my surprise when I discovered that the movie was finally available.

Odd Thomas - Movie

I watched it on Netflix, but it’s available at Amazon.com and several other places, on DVD or streaming. I thought the movie did a great job of recreating the first Odd Thomas book. Since the movie apparently never opened in theaters (or opened widely, not sure), I doubt there’ll be more of them, but this one was a great hour and a half of entertainment.

Check it out if you can.