Author's last name starts with B

Someone to Wed by Mary Balogh

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Someone to Wed by Mary Balogh is a wonderfully written story.  The characters resonant with determination.  Both knowing they need to wed, for different reasons and uncertain about each other and themselves.  This book brings us back to the Westcott Family and their family, broken by revelations and scandals.  

Alexander Westcott must marry as all Earls of a certain age must.   Not just to continue the family line, but because he was left with a financial nightmare.  An estate that needs an infusion of money to help it grow and succeed.  He never wanted the title and the responsibility for another estate to save, but that is what is. He was dashing and handsome and young - what more could the marriage mart want?

Wren Heyden has hidden herself away for years.  Her aunt and uncle dearly loved her, but her shame - a huge ugly birthmark on her face - was not something she could overcome.  She desperately wanted to marry and have children, but who would look at her with her face and want her.  She had money and a thriving business, but no prospects.  

Wren and Alexander could never make a go of it - could they?  Someone to Wed was a beautifully written novel that brought tears to my eyes more than once.  Wren’s history and deep seated fears make moving forward painful.  What a lovely story by Mary Balogh.  

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.  

The Story of Arthur Truluv by Elizabeth Berg

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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

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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.  

 

The Sleepwalker by Chris Bohjalian

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I am stunned.  I did not expect it at all.  Nope.  Wham - surprise!

The Sleepwalker by Chris Bohjalian has brought me on another journey, into a world of sleepwalking.  The story centered around the Ahlberg family.  The mother is a sleepwalker.  When she sleepwalks, Annalee sometimes participates in some behavior that is bizarre and inexplicable. One night she disappears, just gone.  Paige and Lianne, her daughters and Warren, her husband miss her horribly.  Their lives change as they deal with her being gone, not knowing if she was dead or alive.  Lianne can’t let it go and spends time trying to find out what happened that night. She is dogged in her pursuit of the truth until...well the end.

Chris Bohjalian’s newest book The Sleepwalker builds up slowly.  The story slowly unravels a stitch at a time.  Each little piece that falls, does not fit together until it does and then WOW - stunned.  I enjoyed reading the book. I had trouble putting it down especially toward the end.  I did note toward the end that the Ahlberg family stopped at exit 9 in Warner!  

The Sleepwalker by Chris Bohjalian is a great read.

 

Laws of Attraction by R. C. Boldt

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Laws of Attraction by R.C. Boldt is the fourth book in her series Teach Me.  Once again we are on the beach in Florida with a group of couples that are friends.  The books focus on the group of young adults who have have started their lives (teachers and protectors).  They loved to laugh, tease and together they have formed a bond closer than family.  

It is in this background that Langley Ford moves on to her new life.  She was a in a very physical job after a horrible childhood and now is starting all over again.  Lawson Briggs is the comic relief for the group.  He is an middle school English teacher and helps run classes at the Y.  He is seriously HOT and Langley is seriously HOT.  Together they are on fire.  

I found R.C. Boldt by accident through a publicity group.  Since I am a middle school teacher, I was immediately interested.  I have enjoyed the stories and the various characters.  I almost missed finding this next book out and am glad I happened on it.  Laws of Attraction was a fun, flirty, hot read.

A Duke in the Night by Kelly Bowen

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A Duke in the Night by Kelly Bowen is an historical romance that highlights a man and a woman who despite all their positive traits, did not trust easily.  Clara and August had a dance once years and years ago.  That dance hovered in their memory for years.  Even meeting again years later, the dance was still in their memory.

Clara had taken over a running a school.  She a intellectual bluestocking, one who doesn’t suffer fools easily.  August had to save his family years ago from financial ruin.  He always is focused on how to gain more money so they will never have to be poor and hungry again.

August has identified that Clara’s family is struggling mightily with missing ships and revenue.  He wants to buy the company, but it looks like not only will they NOT sell, they are disgusted with the idea of allowing HIM to help them.  There seems to be a spark or more between Clara and August.  Somethings are just impossible!  

A Duke in the Night was a fun read.  I liked the characters, even when they were acting like fools. I liked some of the twists to the story and found myself cheering on woman power.  Kelly Bowen’s newest book, A Duke in the Night 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.

 

The Right Kind of Rogue by Valerie Bowman

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The Right Kind of Rogue by Valerie Bowman was a fun read.  It contained all the key elements for a good historical romance: secretly loving someone for years, secrets kept from each other, jumping to conclusions, waltzing and forced marriages. Oh and hot sex…

Viscount Hart Highgate has decided it is time to get married.  He needs a woman of good lineage, a strong dowry and someone his parents think is acceptable.  Too bad Meg Timmons doesn’t meet any of the requirements.  She has been in love with him since she was sixteen.  Meg and Sarah (Hart’s sister) are best friends.  The families are feuding and Meg is as poor as a churchmouse with a father who gambles.  Sarah and another friend Lucy are willing to help Meg get noticed and married, but it probably won’t be Hart.  

I enjoyed the storyline.  I found the mix-ups, plans and confusion fun to read.  I felt so badly for Meg and was very glad Lucy and Sarah pitched in to help her!  Valerie Bowman’s book The Right Kind of Rogue 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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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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30.08 | 21:25

Have loved reading every one of Lisa Scottoline's books. Can't wait for the next one to arrive on bookshelves. Thanks for sharing your remarkable talent!

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28.08 | 06:12

August snow days! What a fantastic idea! I've been reading Martin Walker's Bruno series set in rural France full or recipes. Yum

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