Saturday Catch-up Part 2

Today I bring you Part 2 of the big catch-up. These five titles have been sitting on my reading pile for a little while now and although I hope to still read them properly, I thought I’d tell you a little bit more about them in the meantime.

First up, some top class action writing…

ghost reconTom Clancy’s Ghost Recon – Choke Point by Peter Telep (Penguin) is an original novel based on the bestselling game of the same name. It promises all the fast-paced action that has made the game so popular…

Special Forces operators are renowned for their highly specialized training and courage behind enemy lines. But there’s a group that’s even more stealthy and deadly. It’s composed of the most feared operators on the face of the earth – the soldiers of Ghost Recon.

When a CIA agent operating in Colombia is kidnapped, the Ghosts battle their way through rebels to rescue the man. But during the operation, they discover evidence of a new terrorist group that’s being backed by South American drug cartels and rebel groups.

The Ghosts follow a trail that leads them around the world in a struggle to uncover the group’s true purpose, one that could mean billions to the South Americans, aid terrorists seeking to wreak havoc on US soil, and cause economic chaos all over the world.

But as the team chases down their quarry, they soon realize that their true foes have yet to reveal themselves . . .

Perhaps this book might be a good way to encourage that reluctant male reader in your life to put down the controller and pick up a book? You can find out more here.

Next is another title from Tom Clancy, written in conjunction Mark Greaney. Threat Vector (Penguin) is a hard-hitting, hardcover novel that’ll keep any Clancy fan thoroughly entertained…

threat vectorJack Ryan has only just moved back into  the Oval Office when he is faced with a new international threat. An aborted  coup in the People’s Republic of China has left President Wei Zhen Lin  with no choice but to agree with the expansionist policies of General Su Ke  Quiang. They have declared the South China Sea a protectorate and are planning  an invasion of Taiwan. 

The  Ryan administration is determined to thwart these Chinese ambitions, but the  stakes are dangerously high as hundreds of Chinese anti-ship missiles thwart the  US Navy’s plans to protect the island. Meanwhile, Chinese cyber warfare experts  have launched a devastating attack on American infrastructure. It’s a new combat  arena, but it’s every bit as deadly as any that has gone before.  

Jack Ryan, Jr. and his colleagues at the Campus may be  just the wild card that his father needs to stack the deck. There’s just one  problem: someone knows about the off-the-books intelligence agency and may be  ready to blow their cover sky high.

And if hardcover books aren’t your thing, it’s being released in paperback in September this year. Find out more here.

If you’re after something a little more lady-like, how about The Forbidden Queen, by Anne O’Brien (Harlequin). I read the first couple of chapters of this book, but got called away (more’s the pity, I was really enjoying it) and even in that short read, I could tell that this story promised to be an absolutely luxurious period-piece full of romance, betrayal and royal intrigue…

forbidden queen1415: The jewel in the French crown, Katherine de Valois, is waiting under lock and key for King Henry V. While he’s been slaughtering her kinsmen in Agincourt, Katherine has been praying for marriage to save her from her misery. But the brutal King is one of war. It is her crown he wants not her innocent love.

For Katherine, a pawn in a ruthless political game, England is a lion’s den of greed, avarice and mistrust. And when the magnificent King leaves her widowed at twenty-one she is a prize ripe for the taking. Her heart is on her sleeve, her young son the future monarch, and her hand in marriage worth a kingdom.

This is a deadly game; one the Dowager Queen must learn fast. The players — Duke of Gloucester, Edmund Beaufort and Owen Tudor — are circling. Who will have her? Who will stop her? Who will ruin her?

This title, and many more stories from Anne O’Brien are available here.

Next is something a little more modern. I’ve had Too Hot To Handle by Victoria Dahl (Harlequin) on the Reading Pile for a few months, and although it’d be fun to go along for this romantic ride, I haven’t had a chance to read it yet…

too hot to handleMerry Kade has always been the good girl. The best friend. The one who patiently waits for the guy to notice her. Well, no more. Merry has just scored her dream job, and it’s time for her life to change. As the new curator of a museum in Wyoming, she’ll supervise some — okay, a lot of — restoration work. Luckily she’s found the perfect contractor for the job, and even better, he lives right next door.

Shane Harcourt can’t believe that someone wants to turn a beat-up ghost town into a museum attraction. After all, the last thing he needs is the site of his dream ranch turning into a tourist trap. He’ll work on the project, if only to hasten its failure…until the beautiful, quirky woman in charge starts to change his mind.

For the first time ever, Merry has a gorgeous stud hot on her heels. But can she trust this strong, silent man — even if he is a force of nature in bed? When Shane’s ulterior motives come out, he’ll need to prove to Merry that a love like theirs may be too hot to handle…but it’s impossible to resist!

A perfect will-she-won’t-she story, I’ll just have to keep wondering whether Merry will give into that hot stud ‘on her heels’! You can find out more about Victoria’s latest title here.

Finally, I’ve one more Harlequin Teen title that I’d like to mention. I’m still hoping to read and review this book properly, as it only came out in June, but in case I don’t get to I’ll mention it now. The book is Dare You To, by Katie McGarry and it promises to be steamy, secretive and pretty dramatic…

dare you toIf anyone knew the truth about Beth Risk’s home life, they’d send her mother to jail. And who knows where they’d send seventeen-year-old Beth. So she protects her mum at all costs — until the day her uncle swoops in, and Beth finds herself starting over at a school where no one understands her. Except for the one guy who shouldn’t get her…but does

Ryan Stone is the town golden boy, a popular jock with secrets he can’t tell anyone. Not even the friends he shares everything with, including constant dares to do crazy things. The craziest? Asking out the skater girl who couldn’t be less interested in him! But what begins as a dare becomes an intense attraction.

Suddenly, the boy with the flawless image is risking everything for the girl he loves. And the girl who won’t let anyone get too close is daring herself to want it all…

I’m sure that you’d agree that there’s no shortage of romance in the air with these four titles. I hope that something here tickles your fancy, but if not, never fear, I’ll have a catch-up full of adult fiction next Saturday.

I reviewed Katie’s Pushing the Limits last year (you can read the review here) and really enjoyed it, it was a great mystery and really multifaceted. I’m looking forward to taking a look at her most recent novel, but in the meantime you can find out more about it here.

Five new titles, five books closer to caught up! Anything tickle your fancy?

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Three days, three titles

Staying home during the summer break suits me just perfectly…

We venture out to the beach in the evening when the weather is hot, and the local park gets plenty of visits during the day. Picnics and BBQs are the order of the day. But the thing I love to do most is to put my feet up at home and get some really serious reading done.

Last week I managed three books in three days, which is pretty much a record for me. I thought I’d share them with you as a ‘bundled’ review.

Close Enough to TouchFirst up I read Close Enough to Touch, by Victoria Dahl (Harlequin), a sexy romance – Hollywood girl meets rough-riding cowboy…

Cole Rawlins is a rugged Wyoming cowboy born and bred. Yet he can’t help but be drawn to the fascinating big-city girl who moves in across from him. He wants to get close enough to Grace to see past her tough facade, but if he does, she might see the real Cole. The one with a Hollywood history gone bad. As they discover a sizzling attraction, it becomes harder for him to keep his demons at bay – and those fires from long ago may burn them both.

The story is really entertaining and make-up artist Grace Barrett is a fascinating character. She’s not your typical Hollywood type, she’s tough to a fault and fiercely  independent. She’s also sufficiently flawed, explaining why she ends up dirt poor in Wyoming with only the bag on her back for company.

Cole Rawlins is pure cowboy, all rough hands and cowboy boots. Or so it would seem – scratch the surface of his history and you find big-city misadventure and regret. As you might expect, Grace and Cole hit it off straight away. Their attraction to each other is immediate, although Grace’s bruised heart (and ego) ensure that she keeps Cole at arms length – emotionally, but not physically. The sex is passionate, rough and a little bit ‘cowboy’ – not for the faint of heart!

Close Enough to Touch, is a good, quick read with a bit of ‘steam’ for your entertainment.

After MoonriseNext I read After Moonrise, by P.C. Cast and Gena Showalter (Harlequin) which was particularly perfect for a summer read. It comprises of two short stories (one by Cast, one by Showalter) both revolving around After Moonrise, a paranormal detective agency. The two novella’s make for nice, snappy reads. This book was decidedly darker in theme than Dahl’s novel, but just as much fun.

Possessed, by P.C. Cast
Being a psychic detective who can channel only negative emotions makes Kent Raef good at catching murderers, but bad at maintaining relationships. Then Lauren Wilcox arrives with a most intriguing case: her twin sister has been murdered and is communing with Lauren’s spirit – and sharing her body. Raef’s the only one who can track the killer and free the spirit. But soon he begins to wonder just which twin he wants to save…and why…

Haunted, by Gena Showalter
Artist Aurora Harper is convinced she’s witnessed a crime – a murder so brutal she’s repressed the memories, only to paint the scene by the light of the moon. Now she needs her new neighbour, Detective Levi Reid, to help her track down the victim – and the killer. Levi’s dealing with his own memory issues, but one thing he knows for sure: Harper is meant to be his, and nothing can take her away from him – not in this life…nor in death…

Both stories start with a surly (but sexy) detective, tough and detached. Both Raef and Reid have spent so long dealing with the dark underbelly of this world and other more paranormal landscapes, that they’ve become hardened and dejected.

Enter a beautiful young lady. Cue steamy sexual encounter, followed by unintended emotional connection. It’s so much fun!

Both of these stories have really interesting plots the spirit stealing and murderous memories had me gripped from the start.

After Moonrise is scary but not terrifying, and darkly funny at times. It was a really interesting blend of film noir, the paranormal and romance.

Better than chocolateFinally I picked up a book that did not at all help me get ‘back on the wagon’ after the Christmas binge. I spent a day reading Better Than Chocolate, by Sheila Roberts (Harlequin) and craving chocolate.

Sweet Dreams Chocolate Company has been in the Sterling family for generations — ever since Great Grandma Rose literally dreamed up her first fabulous recipe. But now it looks as if they’re about to lose Sweet Dreams to the bank…and that would be a disaster — not only for the family but for the town of Icicle Falls, Washington. Can Samantha, the oldest daughter and new head of the company, come up with a way to save it?

This small-town story will particularly appeal to two types of people… chocoholics and entrepreneurs, as the novel sees Samantha working to solve a massive small-business problem, all the time consuming various chocolate delights.

I found this story a really interesting picture of an American town filled with every-day people struggling to meet the challenges of a weak American economy. The problems which the financial climate presents are only solved by community and Samantha, her family and her network find that they are forced to dig themselves out of a substantial business hole. This rescue is only made possible by banding together, as town and community.

Of course, then there’s the bank manager, who just happens to be a spunky young man from Samantha’s past. Will he play hero or villain?

At the beginning of Better Than Chocolate, the author challenges the reader get through the book without eating any chocolate. I must admit, I failed this challenge…

It was a great three days of reading, and it’s not finished yet. I’m reading like a machine, and I’ll have lots more reviews for you in the days to come!

Have you had a chance to do any extra reading over the break?

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