Author's last name starts with B

Someone to Care by Mary Balogh

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I wondered what would happen to Viola.  I was mad at what her ‘husband’ did to her.  I was mad at how alone she became. I was so glad to read about her in the newest book by Mary Balogh called Someone to Care.  Viola’s husband was no husband. He married her while being married to another and then when he died, he didn’t do anything to help her or her children survive in the cut throat world of the Ton.  Viola is mad, no surprise there! She has not had a chance to really come to grips with everything as she is a mother first and needed to take care of her children. 

One day, when she had enough and was heading home alone in a hired hackney, she stopped at an inn in the middle of nowhere and met Marcel Lamarr.  Only they already knew each other from encounters long ago. They both had feelings for the other, but Viola was not interested in breaking her vows. (Did I mention her ‘husband’ was an ass?)  Now years later, another chance is before them and in one wild moment, they take it and escape together for an interlude. Thier families start looking for them - well you can imagine what happens from here - or so I thought - I was wrong.  There were a couple of more twists!

Someone to Care by Mary Balogh is a great addition to the Wescott Series (#4) and is a good read.  

Christmas in Tahoe by Elizabeth Barrett

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Christmas in Tahoe by Elizabeth Barrett was a quick romance to read!   The main characters were both left by significant others.  Ann by her soon to be husband dying suddenly and Chase by his best friend and business partner.  Ann forced herself into her work and led a very quiet life with lots of tears.  Chase left and went to Africa for a time and then came back and moved into his family’s home in Tahoe and became a skier.   It was fate - in the shape of a mutual friend Mandy - who helped them meet.  From there everything just turned out - with a few moguls in between for them to go skiing and get close.  Then things get a little stickier.  Do you run or do you try again?  

Christmas in Tahoe by Elizabeth Barrett was a good read.  

When You Knew by Jamie Beck

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When You Knew by Jamie Beck is the third book in a series about the Cabot family. The books focus on each sibling/family member in each of the different books. This book focuses on Gentry and Ian - and Colt, the baby.  

Gentry Cabot thought she knew how motherhood was going to go, but she was wrong.  It was much more exhausting than she ever realized. She knows her family is just waiting for her to fail and now she has to go back to work for the family and leave her precious baby.  Colt is not ready for day care as he is running a fever. Gentry is able to come up with an unusual solution to move forward.

Ian Crawford is waiting to go back to haiti where he is working on starting an ambulance corp to help people stricken with illness and now way to get to help.  The problem is he is out of money and needs to move forward. When Gentry asks him for help as a nanny, he jumps at the chance for the money, even as he feels guilty for the luxury her home offers him.  Colt is a fussy baby who will grow out of the colicky stage soon, so why not take advantage of the money and the classy living.

The problem, they like each other a lot!  Gentry doesn’t really want to work for her family and her mother is a pill.  Ian is struggling with where and what form his life should take, living for his father’s dream or his. I enjoyed the characters and liked the story line.  I actually went online and purchased the two previous novels knowing I would enjoy them.

When You Knew by Jamie Beck is a good read.  

The Story of Arthur Truluv

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The Story of Arthur Truluv by Elizabeth Berg was a fantastic read.  The story was not in a rush to be told, but one that meandered around, much like Arthur did in the cemetery but each step brought you closer to the storyline and people.  Arthur’s wife has died.  He visits her daily at the cemetery and shares his lunch and chats.  He visits other graves and can envision what their lives are like. Some days he stops and chats with his neighbor Lucille and sits on her porch for a while.  One day Arthur meets another lonely soul, Maddy and and they slowly offer each other hope and strength and then Lucille joins them and a family is born.  

One of my favorite parts of the book is when Maddy shares with Lucille what makes a family. The story quietly fills the spaces in a life and grows outward.  I love the way Elizabeth Berg draws out the characters so finely etched to make the pictures in your mind.  Her understanding of people and how they are so different yet all needing the some things is universal.The Story of Arthur Truluv is beautiful.  

 

The Bishop's Pawn by Steve Berry

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The Bishop’s Pawn by Steve Berry was a interesting read.  I find Steve Berry’s books fascinating. I love how he takes some fact from history and then adds other information and layers on more and more.  He does this in such as way that you are unsure where the line between reality and fantasy is. The Bishop’s Pawn is another example of this type of novel.  We are introduced to the story of Martin Luther King’s death and through various documents, conversations and secret information we are introduced to theory upon theory of what really happened.  He tops it off with a humdinger of a twist at the end which then changes everyone’s perspective.

The Bishop’s Pawn had a great beginning and a great ending.  I felt the middle was a little repetitive and dragged. I have never really been a proponent of any side of Martin Luther King’s death, so I was able to look at this book with fresher eyes than some people. The Bishop’s Pawn by Steve Berry is a good read with a kick butt ending.

 

White Houses by Amy Bloom

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White Houses by Amy Bloom is a novel about Eleanor Roosevelt and Lorena Hickok.  The story has some basis in factual information about their travels and letters, however this book is a novel.  It is well written with the portrayal of two women who loved, but were constantly on guard with their relationship.  Eleanor following her husband from governor to president, prevented any private life.

Lorena Hickok grew up in a harsh life in South Dakota and left home when the opportunity arose. She was curious and found a career in writing.  However her relationship with Eleanor prevented her from continuing the coverage of the White House and she began to travel around the country to writing about the depression and how people were surviving.

What made the book poignant - because yes it was poignant - was the obvious affection and love between them.  The thought and knowledge of loving someone, but only having stolen moments sometimes for days, others for hours and sometimes for just minutes.  White Houses was a great read.  

 

Duke of my Heart by Kelly Bowen

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Duke of my Heart by Kelly Bowen is the first book in the series labeled Season for Scandal.  I read the series out of order with this not being the first book, however, I did not feel that it was a problem at all.  Chegarre & Associates is a service to help people solve unusual situations.  It is secretive and yet had many tentacles within the ton.

Ivory Moore was called to the Duke of Alderidge’s house for a situation.  There is a dead duke tied up in the bed of the unmarried sister of the Duke of Alderidge.  Chegarre and Associates with Ivory Moore showed up to handle the situation.

Captain Maximus Harcourt, the Duke of Alderidge has been away at sea for a couple of years.  His homecoming is interesting to say the least. He is not necessarily willing to let some outside person handle his affairs - after all he could do it much better, or so he thinks.  

The twisting and turning of facts about the death and the missing sister is just the start.  Ivory and Max are humorous together. Both want to lead, but as everyone knows, only one can lead at a time.  I enjoyed the twists and turns. I enjoyed the repartee between Ivory and Max and I love the way they solve different parts of the puzzle.  

Duke of my Heart by Kelly Bowen was a good read.  

 

A Duke to Remember by Kelly Bowen

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A Duke to Remember by Kelly Bowen was a different type of historical fiction novel. It had all the requirements two people falling in love who shouldn’t fall in love for a variety of reasons are thrown together to solve a problem of utmost importance.  It also had great characters, a different take on the lead female character and a twisted person who was trying to steal another dukedom (?not sure that is a word). The book is the second in a series called Season for Scandal.  I did not read the prior book first, but have it downloaded to read next.

Elise deVries works for Chegarre and Associates. It is an elite agency that helps peer and other rich people in regency England take care of problems. Although the problems are not specified, you are lead to believe that not taking care of them will cause loss of status, money or other issues.  Elise is great at being who she needs to be - an actress, a doctor, a rich refuge - to ferret out information or to solve problems.

Chegarre and Associates have been approached by Abigail, the estranged daughter of the Duchess of Ashland to help her mother currently locked in Bedlam without a real reason.  From this beginning Elise ends up trying to track down the “real duke” and help the Duchess to be freed from her tortuous circumstances.

Noah Ellery has hidden in plain sight for many years.  He is pursuing a quiet life in the country away from the ton.  He does not do entanglements and lives simply, until Elise shows up.  A Duke to Remember by Kelly Bowen the second book in the Season for Scandal was a good read.  

 

A Duke Like No Other by Valerie Bowman

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A Duke Like No Other by Valerie Bowman is being published on May first.  The story is part of the Playful Brides series, but can be read as a stand alone novel without problems.  The novel introduces us to General Mark Grimaldi, a man who is known for his stone face and unemotional responses to trouble. General Grimaldi would like to be promoted only to be told that they prefer a family man.  Interestingly enough, we find out he is married. Nicole Huntington Grimaldi was his wife. They were married several years prior and had lived apart without any contact for many years. That is when the story gets quite interesting. Secrets and jumping to conclusions are rampart as are the constant pressure as they work through the minefield of their marriage and the present day trials they are exposed to.  

A Duke Like No Other by Valerie Bowman kept my attention.  I was silently cheering on the couple as they worked through the secrets and mysteries.  I wanted them to succeed despite the odds. Valerie Bowman allowed the reader to see and hear some of the issues that common people felt about the rich, famous ton in Great Britain at the time, which I found quite interesting.  

A Duke Like No Other by Valerie Bowman was a good read.

 

More or Less a Marchioness by Anna Bradley

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More or Less a Marchioness by Anna Bradley was a fun read!  I enjoyed meeting the main characters of Finn and Iris.  Finn is Phineas Knight, the Lord of Huntington.  He has decided that it is time to marry and through a card wager (which was not a good choice) he has determined that Iris was the woman he was going to marry.  Iris Somerset has agreed to the marriage, until one day she overhears a conversation not meant for her ears.  This is the eye-opening she needs.  Iris doesn’t want to marry someone she cannot be open and honest with.  She struggles with her choice, not wanting to ruin her sister’s chance for marriage.  This is the moment when everything turns around… but for who and why?


Iris and Finn need each other, but they of course do not realize it.  Gossip, wily behaviors and misunderstanding abound. The book is a historical romance that promises two more books in the series to come. More or Less a Marchioness by Anna Bradley was a good read.

Shattered by Allison Brennan

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Shattered by Allison Brennan was a great “who done it”.  I did not realize when I picked out the book that it was the latest in a series and I do not think it hindered me.  Max Revere is a nontraditional crime reporter.  She takes cold cases and works with her team to figure out what happened and who was the guilty of the crime.

An old college friend begs Max to help him prove his wife did not kill their son.  Since Max does not work on current crimes, he convinces her that his child’s death is similar to other children’s deaths, that she can investigate.  It is looking into the older crimes that Max realizes that this may be the work of a serial killer.  She is forced to accept help from  FBI Agent Lucy Kincaid, the aunt of the boy murdered twenty years ago.  Between Max’s ability to track down old information and Lucy’s ability to step into the mind of the killer, the case begins to narrow down the suspects and then they realize a young boy is soon to be the next victim.  

I was hooked right from the start and couldn’t wait to discover what was going to happen next. The characters and the twists and turns of the storyline kept me right on the edge.  I really enjoyed how all the information was laid out and how I fell totally into the story. 

Shattered by Allison Brennan was a great book to read.

 

Watch Me Disappear by Janelle Brown

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Watch Me Disappear by Janelle Brown is a mystery with an edge.  Billie Flanagan has is gone.  She went for a hike up into the mountains and never returned.  Only some odd pieces she had with her were found.  Her daughter Olive and husband Jonathan are desolate.  She was larger than life, beautiful, spontaneous and full of life.  

A year after she went missing, Jonathan and Olive are picking up the pieces, but suddenly the pieces do not add up.  There seems to be some cracks in the facts that Billie shared and when poked the cracks widened.  Suddenly, it seems that Billie was not who they thought she was and they start to question everything.

The book despite the fact it was not a traditional thriller was thrilling.  I felt that every chapter, every page held some clue that would make everything make sense.  Each new fact or tidbit added to the morass of Billie Flanagan.  Watch Me Disappear by Janelle Brown was a great read.

Seeing Red by Sandra Brown

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Seeing Red by Sandra Brown was a knockdown mystery with murder, unsavory characters and lots of mystery.  No one is immune and who is on whose side just part of the confusion and the mystery. It all started years ago when Major Trapper came running out of a burning hotel saving a young child and several others while the explosion and susquent fire cause devestation.  Major Trapper became an overnight sensation with all sorts of attention and focus on his being a hero.

Roll forward to the future and Kerra Bailey, a television journalist located in Denver wants to interview the Major, but for the last three years he has refused any interviews.  Kerra is insistent and attempts to convince his son John Trapper to help her. He refuses and his character comes across as a jerk. Kerra is persistent as she has a secret of her own and manages to interview the Major.  That is when things become interesting. It is unclear who is on which side and who is there for Kerra to trust. Everyone seems to want to “quiet” the situation down, by anhilating the people involved.

Seeing Red by Sandra Brown kept me guessing until the end.  I like how the author made some people so unknown that you were constantly guess on whether to trust them or not.  I like how the story “wrapped up” and felt the story more than held my attention. Seeing Red by Sandra Brown was a good read.

 

Staying for Good by Catherine Bybee

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Staying for Good by Catherine Bybee is a contemporary love story set in a small town called River Bend.  Zoe could not wait to leave her home town.  She grew up in a home where life was hard and she was not considered special.  Only she managed to get herself out and into a new life.  She is a famous chef looking to finally settle in Dallas. Only her best friend Melanie is getting married and Zoe’s coming home for the wedding.  

Luke was her boyfriend in high school and the only other friend Zoe had.  She broke off with him when she left and he has never really gotten over her leaving. He works in his Dad’s garage and lately has started to think more might be more in the world for him and maybe Zoe.  Together they realize what is really important for them, but there are a few problems, most related to her family.  

Catherine Bybee writes stories that stick with you.  Characters that seem real and hometowns that celebrate small town life.  Staying for Good is a great read.  I am sorry I didn’t read the first book in the series first (only because I like to read books in order).  I didn’t feel I was missing anything by not reading them in order.  I have enjoyed reading the books I have read by Catherine Bybee and really need to put her on my love to read list.

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Latest comments

23.06 | 23:24

Great interview!

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27.05 | 23:23

Outraged, too! It is just getting coverage. This government is shameful under this leadership.

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26.03 | 16:01

At first I thought it said spa season. Either way it is a sign of rejuvenation! On a Kristin Hannah kick, loved Winter Garden. Happy reading!

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19.03 | 14:10

Cities are fun but exhausting. Like you the quiet is needed.

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