Tag: Maggie Shayne

Review: The Husband She Couldn’t Remember by Maggie Shayne

Posted July 27, 2011 by Tracy in Reviews | 2 Comments

Ben Brand had thought nothing could hurt more than losing Penny, his cherished wife. He was wrong. When Penny mysteriously showed up on his ranch, dazed but alive, Ben faced a new kind of anguish. His beloved had no memory of her past – or of him.

Ben set out to discover what had happened to his wife. Penny had to remember everything: who she was, where she’d been – the love they’d shared – because he couldn’t stand to lose the only woman he’d ever loved – again.

Penny wakes up after being in a coma and has no clue who she is.  She doesn’t even realize that she is Penny Brand. But she finds a scrap of paper in the lining of her clothes with an address in Texas.  She heads there and is shocked and more than a bit confused when she runs into a man who claims to be her husband – and has thought her dead for 2 years.

Ben Brand is thrilled that he has his wife back but he’s also scared that he’ll lose her again soon.  You see Penny had a terminal degenerative disease when she “died” and he’s afraid that her health will fail quickly.  He doesn’t quite understand that she may never get her memory back and is constantly showing her places that they went and telling her about things they did to try and jog her memory.  It’s more than a bit frustrating for Penny.  Ben says that he loves her but does he love her or the woman she was then – and she might not be again?

On top of this is the search to find out how exactly Penny got to the clinic where she woke up from her coma, who is the doctor that seemed to want to keep her there and what do they have to do to keep Penny safe when that doctor shows up to take her back.

I have to tell you that I’m kind of a sucker for amnesiac stories.  When I read the description for this one it grabbed my attention and I immediately wanted to read it. I wasn’t disappointed.

I liked this book for several different reasons.  First was the fact that the cause for the amnesia was quite different.  We really didn’t discover exactly how her memories were suppressed until later in the book but it was quite creative.

The second was the whole conflict between Ben and Penny about Old Penny vs. New Penny.  I thought that this was a major issue and definitely needed to be explored – which it was.  Because Penny didn’t have a clue who she was and only followed her instincts in most of her actions I had to wonder about Ben’s affection for her.  Yes, he was thrilled to have his wife that he loved deeply back (as any man would) and was ecstatic that she hadn’t actually died in a car crash – of course he wanted her to get her memory back… but what if she hadn’t?  Could he love who she was without all of those past events to work off of?  I thought that Shayne handled this well and it was a fun and interesting story to read.

I may, one day, look into reading the rest of this series as there were some things that were left hanging (with other characters, not Ben and Penny) that intrigued me.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

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What I Read Last Week

Posted July 25, 2011 by Tracy in Features | 8 Comments

Happy almost end of July!!
What’s up in Tracyland?
I continue to have bizarre reading weeks as I continue to get up early. My daughter’s summer school ended last week but since I originally thought it ran until the 29th of July that’s how I planned my schedule at work. There’s only 1 week left – woohoo! I hate getting up early but I love, love, love getting off early from work. But then I hate having to go to bed earlier in order to get enough sleep to wake up early again. It’s a vicious cycle! lol
So this past Saturday I drove down and saw Holly for a girls day. We talked about family, and friends, and kids, and rhino and panther dicks (which you can read about in Holly’s post here) and laughed and ate and just had so much fun. I ended up coming home with a large stack of books to review for The Book Binge – bigger than the original pile she had to mail me. lol
Holly also showed me the wonderful app that Goodreads now has and it’s awesome! I was using the mobile site on my phone and it was kind of a pain, I must say. For those of us who still read print books it’s got a barcode scanner and you can direct the scans to exactly which shelf you want to put the books on. The rest of the app is incredibly easy to use as well and I entered all of the books that I got from Holly all in the space of 5 minutes (I had to enter some by hand since they were ARC’s). If you use Goodreads a lot, as I do, and you have an app capable phone I suggest you get this one – it’s the perfect price: free!
Update on my oldest: She’s doing great. We had a follow up with our regular doctor. He had her give blood again to check her levels, scheduled her for an ultrasound to check things out a little more closely and then set up an appointment for us with a Gynecologist so that we can talk about the cause of the cyst and how to avoid them in the future, etc. She’s back to her normal self and doing well which is a huge relief.
It’s going to be a hard week this week. My boss, the one I’ve worked for for the past 10 years, is retiring. This is her last full work week and then her last service (she’s a priest) will be on Sunday. I has a great big sad. I know that things will be ok after she leaves but I love her so much. I’m pretty sure 75% of my love for my job is her. She’s been a wonderful boss and a great friend and I will miss her something fierce.*sniff*
I was thinking this past week that I need to take a vacation and do nothing but read. I could head to my bosses cabin near Lake Arrowhead and have peace and solitude and read my ass off. Doesn’t that sound good? Of course I think I might have to make it a 3 week vacation: 1 week to read just from my m/f TBR – 1 week to read all of my Book Binge review books and write reviews – 1 week to read nothing but m/m. Heaven. It sounds like sheer effin heaven.
Oh, and I’m over at DIK today and for the next couple of days.
Enough about me…how are you? What did you do this past week or weekend that was fun and exciting? Anything.
I started the week with my TBR Challenge Read which was My Most Excellent Year: A Novel of Love, Mary Poppins and Fenway Park by Steve Kluger. This was an wonderful book and I loved it. You can see my review here if you’re interested. 5 out of 5
Next was a novella for The Book Binge called Surrounded by Woods by Mandy Harbin. It was the story of mountain lion shifters who live to eat and mate. They stay away from society because if they are around an unattached female they’ll go feral, mate with the woman against her will (can you say rape?) and that has deadly consequences for both parties involved. Mikaela heads to Woods estate to help with some legal issues and she’s safe because they think she’s engaged…which she’s not any longer. Mikaela and one of the four sons, Josh, hit it off in a big way but what happens when they find out she’s not really engaged? A cute story in some aspects, and a bit ridiculous in others. 2.5 out of 5
Next was Wolfsbane by Andrea Cremer. This is book 2 in the Nightshade series and it starts off where book 1 left off. Calla is now with the Searchers but she doesn’t know who to trust and what’s happening back in her pack. She wants to get her pack and make sure they’re safe…along with Ren. Shay isn’t too thrilled that Calla is still thinking about Ren but he deals with it. Things don’t go as planned with the rescue mission and Calla finds out she has a traitor in her pack. Another good story – I’ll be posting my review this week for this book.
I started The Summer of You by Kate Noble but halfway through I put the book down. I was a little bored and though I normally like sweet, somewhat non-angsty romances this was a little too slow for me. I may go back and finish it some other time as I started and stopped Compromised as well – went back later and loved it. DNF (for now)
England’s Perfect Hero by Suzanne Enoch was my next read and it was so good! As much as I loved the story and the romance it was really Bit that made this book for me. He was just so emotionally scarred and I wanted to hug him for most of the book. The story was about Lucinda who has decided to teach her “lessons” to the fourth son of a duke but feels quite guilty about it since she’s really vying for marriage. The man, Geoffrey is courting Lucinda’s father, a general, as much as he’s courting Lucinda. Bit overhears about the lessons and offers to “help” Lucinda with them. Lucinda and Bit get closer and spend more time together and though they each say they’re only friends love grows between them. 4.5 out of 5
When I head to Holly’s I always get an audio book to listen to. This time I got Irresistible by Susan Mallery. I listened to about 4 of the cd’s before I got home and then read the last part of it via ebook. I liked the book but had an issue with the reader. I didn’t like her voice all that much and she made everyone but the hero and heroine have what sounded like southern accents. I could hear the where the lines were supposed to be humorous but frankly she didn’t have much inflection in her voice and it was all lost in the translation. She also made the heroes voice sound like he had no personality at all. I think she was going for stoic but didn’t quite manage that.
Also – a note to audio book readers: drink water. I really have no desire to hear the pastiness when you get dry mouth. Ewwww. lol
The story itself was about an ex-marine who moves into an apartment and becomes emotionally involved, against his will, with his neighbor and her daughter. It was a cute book. 3.5 out of 5
Last on the list was a soon to be re-issued book called The Husband She Couldn’t Remember by Maggie Shayne. The book is about a woman who has been thought dead for 2 years by her husband and his family who shows up not knowing who she is. I’m posting my review of this later this week. 🙂
My Book Binge reviews that posted last week:

Happy Reading!

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Review: Killing Me Softly by Maggie Shayne

Posted November 30, 2010 by Casee in Reviews | 2 Comments

Genres: Romantic Suspense

Casee‘s review of Killing Me Softly by Maggie Shayne.

The Nightcap Strangler, who terrorized the town of Shadow Falls fifteen years ago, has finally been executed. Case closed. Until Bryan Kendall’s lover is murdered in the notorious killer’s unique style and the rookie cop stands accused. Has someone committed the perfect copy-cat crime…or was the wrong man put to death?

A continent away, Dawn Jones hears that her first love has been accused of murder and knows that only she can help him. But to do so, she’ll have to face the very fears that drove them apart.

Together, they’ll work to uncover secrets someone’s willing to kill to keep, and renew a love as dangerous as it is inevitable. And their best lead is the girl found dead in Bryan’s bed, reeking of the whiskey poured down her throat before her killer squeezed it shut.

A killer who thinks that Dawn, too, could use one last drink…

It really is a shame that I didn’t like this book. Dawn Jones is the spawn of Mordecai Young, a psychopath from previous books. There has been a long wait between this book and the last one that had a younger Dawn in it. So long, in fact, that I can’t remember the series at all. The only reason I knew it was a continuation of the series was because of Dawn referring to Mordecai as her father.

Dawn sees ghosts. She’s afraid that she’ll turn out just like her father, so she dulls that part of her by excessive drinking and prescription medication. I lost respect for her as a character for that alone. I tried not to be judgmental, but that combined with her attitude in general was just dreadful.

Bryan Kendall wakes up in his bathroom after a party at his house to find his sometimes girlfriend dead in his bed. Bryan can’t remember anything and he knows that he’s in trouble. He immediately calls in the cavalry and it’s soon apparent that the woman was killed by a serial killer that had confessed to the crimes. Seeing as the man was executed, it’s obvious that the Nightcap Strangler is still out there and resuming his old “activities”.

Dawn returns home to Shadow Falls when her mother calls about Bryan. Bryan and Dawn have a long history. Some of it good, some of it not so good. It ended with Dawn leaving Shadow Falls and breaking Bryan’s heart in the process.

Killing Me Softly is missing something that I anticipate when reading Maggie Shayne’s book. Of course it’s been awhile, so it might be my reading tastes. The story and the characters just didn’t resonate with me. I would even go so far as to say that I disliked this book.

2 out of 5.

This book is available from Mira. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

The series:

Book CoverBook CoverBook Cover

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Lightning Reviews: Sexiest Man Alive, Feels Like Home, Sea Swept

Posted November 8, 2007 by Holly in Reviews | 6 Comments

Reviewer: Holly
Sexiest Man Alive by Diana Holquist
Series: Make Me a Match #2
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication Date: October 1st 2007
Genres: Fiction
Pages: 300
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Series Rating: three-stars

Shy No More Worksheet

Name: Jasmine Burns

Imagine the person who intimidates you. Naked. I'm intimidated by Josh Toby, the world's biggest movie star. Who has to imagine him naked? I've seen it on a forty-foot screen.

Breathe deep. Did I mention he's Josh Toby? As his costume designer, I'm supposed to dress him. And undress him. Oh, and my psychic sister Amy, who has never been wrong, named him my One True Love. Breathing is completely out of the question.

Ask for what you want. What I want is for him to stop being so...irresistible! I want not to fall in love with a man who's stalked by the paparazzi, whose washboard abs could cut glass, and whose movie star girlfriend is the most stunning creature ever.

Believe you can do what needs to be done. Then do it. So, all I have to do is believe I can resist Josh Toby. Resist those deep violet eyes, those strong, muscular arms, and the way he makes me feel like the only woman on earth. Couldn't be easier. Yeah right...

Sexiest Man Alive by Diana Holquist

I think the concept behind this book was a good one. She’s shy, has a phobia about hot men and he’s the sexiest man alive. But honestly? It didn’t work for me. The timing felt off, so things that should have been funny fell flat instead. And her sister, Amy? Hell no. The bitch needed to be drop kicked a time or five. I remember reading a review elsewhere (maybe it was Jane’s at Dear Author) who said she felt Amy almost redeemed herself in the end. For me? Not so much.

The romance was pretty good and worked well for me, and there were some humorous moments, such as when she tracks down the librarian and tries to explain he’s her One and Only, but overall I thought it lacked…something.

3.0 out of 5

Lightning Reviews: Sexiest Man Alive, Feels Like Home, Sea SweptReviewer: Holly
Sea Swept by Nora Roberts
Series: Chesapeake Bay #1
Also in this series: Sea Swept (Chesapeake Bay #1), Rising Tides, Inner Harbor, Chesapeake Blue
Publisher: Penguin
Publication Date: January 1st 1998
Genres: Fiction
Pages: 342
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Series Rating: three-stars

New York Times bestselling author Nora Roberts presents the first novel in a stunning new trilogy of three men bound by the love of the extraordinary couple who took them in and raised them as brothers. Now grown and living on their own, the Quinn brothers must return to the family home on the Maryland shore, to honor their father's last request.

A champion boat racer, Cameron Quinn traveled the world spending his winnings on champagne and women. But when his dying father called him home to care for Seth, a troubled young boy not unlike Cameron once was, his life changed overnight...

After years of independence, Cameron had to learn to live with his brothers again, while he struggled with cooking, cleaning, and caring for a difficult boy. Old rivalries and new resentments flared between Cameron and his brothers, but they tried to put aside their differences for Seth's sake. In the end, a social worker would decide Seth's fate, and as tough as she was beautiful, she had the power to bring the Quinns together—or tear them apart...

Sea Swept by Nora Roberts

Nora Roberts is really hit or miss for me. Some novels I love, some I think are ok and some are just plain blah. This fell into the “love” category. I decided to read this after Ween’s hero of the month post and I don’t regret it at all.

I think NR really excels are writing relationships. Whether it be between women, men, siblings, friends, etc, she does it better than any other writer I know. She didn’t disappoint in this novel, either. Although I enjoyed the relationship between Cam and Anna (his heroine), it was the relationship between the brothers and Seth (their newest adopted brother) that really grabbed me. Occasionally I found myself skimming through the parts with Anna and Cam just so I could get to the parts with Seth and Cam or Cam, Ethan and Phillip. Fab read, I highly recommend it.

4.5 out of 5

Lightning Reviews: Sexiest Man Alive, Feels Like Home, Sea SweptReviewer: Holly
Feels Like Home by Maggie Shayne
Series: The Oklahoma Brands #4
Publisher: Silhouette
Publication Date: December 1st 2005
Genres: Fiction
Pages: 256
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Series Rating: four-stars

When Chicago cop Jimmy Corona returns to his Oklahoma hometown, he discovers that the once-shy Kara Brand has blossomed into a beautiful woman with heart and courage -- a combination that makes her a perfect match for him and his young son.

Feels Like Home by Maggie Shayne

I picked this one up from Books on Board the other day because I was in the mood for something short and sweet. That’s exactly what this was.

I really enjoyed the overall story, but I kind of felt like this one went in too many different directions. Jimmy, Kara and Tyler should have been the focus, but instead MS spent a lot of time focusing on Kara’s sisters and mother, Jimmy’s ex-wife and the convict she hooked up with and not enough time on Jimmy’s partner, who’s injured early in the book, or on Jimmy and Kara. Their relationship kind of takes a backseat to the action and secondary characters. Sometimes I’m ok with that, but as this is a short(er) story, it didn’t really work for me.

I think this one could have been put together better, but was still good for what it was: A light, fluffy, quick read.

3.5 out of 5

There you go, my first attempt at lightning reviews. What do you think? Need more? Less? Have questions? Let me know…


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