Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Short and Sweet Review: Below Zero by C.J. Box

Another awesome and gritty tale in C.J. Box's Joe Pickett series. I believe Below Zero is #9 and the author shows no signs of lagging in his diligence to take the reader on a thrilling ride through the wilds of Montana...and the heart of a family.

This series is not for the feint of heart or the squeamish. But the most difficult scenes to read are not arbitrary. Everything has it's purpose to advance the plot and, on occasion, educate the reader to the controversies of the contemporary west.

I would never put a reader off a particular book, but I would advise starting this series at the beginning with Open Season. By the time you reach Below Zero, Joe Pickett is chasing down a dying Chicago bad guy, and his seriously screwed up son, with a warped idea about how he can clean the slate before he dies. But Joe is also urgently searching for a young girl who may...or may not be the adopted daughter whose death years--and books--ago left an aching hole in the hearts of Joe's family.

Of course the elusive and mysterious Nate Romanowski has Joe's back when things turn ugly, which only makes the whole experience richer. But first Joe has to hike into Nate's remote lair where he's hiding out from the feds.

The title doesn't refer to the cold, but it certainly could refer to the hearts of these 'bad guys'. Readers can count on Joe catching up with them, but as always, we have no guarantee that there won't be collateral damage. That's the catch with Box's series: there are no promises. But I'll make a promise--if you can take it, you'll love these books!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Short and Sweet Review: Just Another Maniac Monday by Jennie Marts

Just Another Maniac Monday is a funny romance with plenty of heart. The third installment of Jennie Marts’ Page Turner series, tells the story of the oldest member of the group, the elderly, but fun and feisty Edna.

The sudden return of Johnny, an old flame whom Edna had thought long dead, occasions some marvelous flashbacks to Edna’s young adult years in the 50’s. If you've read the previous books this is a change of scenery, not to mention era. But the author does a marvelous job of creating the feel of the time and developing characters who are true to their day.

Meanwhile, back in the present, Edna’s friends bring humor and love as they dive right in to help her discover the truth of Johnny’s return as well as protect her from a very real present-day threat.

Marts books are always fun to read but Monday had the added appeal of a very touching and tragic love story that might just have a shot at a happy ending-if they all survive to the end of the book (don’t want to give away any spoilers here!).  I highly recommend it for a fun and touching summer read or even a cozy winter get-away.