Not much to say here besides the fact that I really enjoyed this one a lot. We get to see VI go into the prison system in order to find out how an escapee from a woman's prison was found on a road in Chicago. We get to see VI and other characters go through some changes in this one due to a new age of American politics as well.
VI in this one is accused of a hit and run after she barely misses hitting a woman's body in the road. Though VI has her run ins with the law at times, she still doesn't know why the police are looking hard at her for this one. When she turns up details on the dead woman which ties her into a high profile private security firm, it becomes pretty clear that VI may not be able to get herself out of trouble in this one.
VI is a bit slower in this one. She is definitely feeling her age. She also feels a bit flat since her long time rival and friend Murray is now being pushed to do more public friendly stories and the era of print media has seemingly died in Chicago. What I think made me like this one a lot more is that honestly VI is left friendless in this one and has to survey by her own wits. Her assistant pretty much quits and blames VI for how she behaves which is why she is always targeted. And VI has a power crazed Chicago cop on her heels who is not going to stop until he has her arrested.
The book shifts gears though with it's smart insight into the prison system and how easy it is to abuse women behind bars. Some of the descriptions were stomach inducing.
I do have to say though I loved this book, I found most of the circumstances involved to be highly implausible. I have finished a bunch of the books in this series recently, and I do have to say that after "Fire Sale" I started to just feel a shift in quality. I constantly compare VI to my other favorite female private eye, Kinsey Malone. And I think what gets me the most is that VI is antagonistic towards everyone and even the police. With what she gets up to I am surprised she hasn't been arrested for how many times she gets involved in a police matter. And I just don't like how she treats others around her. That said, I would be a happy person if the character of Mr. Contreras would be written off from this series along with the two dogs that VI ends up bringing everywhere in the latest books.
A Stone Barrington novel without much Stone Barrington...still a good, quick read, but not up to the level of others. Woods is really cranking out the Barrington books lately, adding more and more central characters, which distracts from the main characters that made this series so much fun to read. This one is very by the numbers as Stone crosses paths with an old contact, Teddy Fay, and somehow ends up convincing him to protect his son from the Russian mob. Stone really doesn't have much to do with the main plot as the focus seems to be on Teddy, aka Billy, and his dealings with the Russians and others new characters in Vegas and L.A. Stone does have a small role at the end in helping set up the Russians for a hit by Teddy, but I'm hoping the next one brings Stone back as the central protagonist. One gripe: Teddy's dealings with Vlad, a Russian hitman, are poorly handled by Woods...just my opinion.
My family lived this story so I may be a little bit prejudiced toward it. This is a history of people who lived through the Dust Bowl and my family, grandparents and mom, did just that. My mother owns the book but hasn't been able to read it yet because it is too painful. If you aren't familiar with this episode of American history, this was the 30's when the land literally blew away. The farming that had been done had ripped away the centuries old grasses and left the topsoil exposed to the never-ending wind. Then the rains stopped for about 6 years. It was a brutal time and the majority of people who lived in the Dust Bowl moved away. My grandparents stayed and kept their farm through it all. My mom was born in 1934 in a dugout so this history is my family's history.
Timothy Egan did his research well. He has first-hand accounts from many who are my mom's age and older who distinctly remember the Black Dusters coming through town and blocking out the sun. He ties the stories together well. His creation of the atmosphere of the Texas and Oklahoma Panhandles is masterful. I've spent a lot of time there and he describes it beautifully. I think he is very fair in explaining why the Dust Bowl happened and who was to blame. He doesn't vilify the farmers as some have though they do take blame. They didn't know any better and they were told that they were doing the right thing. He shows the progression of the problem clearly. He does vilify the ones who deserve it, the land speculators. He does an outstanding job of showing the determination and fortitude of the settlers.
Settling the frontier sounds like something that happened 150 years ago but this frontier was being settled in my mom's lifetime and this book is an excellent history of how that part of the Great Plains developed. Some people won't like his story-telling style. It's not linear. He goes back and forth between families and usually has to go back a few years each time he changes families but it's not a hard style to read. For a non-fiction book, this was as compelling as any fictional story I've read lately. I couldn't put it down.
I hope you are nice an cozy this winter. Here are some wonderful Blizzards, Ice Storms, Snowstorms, Snowed In in Contemporary Romances to keep you warm!
My lists are never in any particular order.
Outside it may be frosty, so turn the heat way up with these stories of desire!
Can a determined woman executive and a playboy billionaire survive being stranded together in a snowstorm? Jennifer Probst depicts an encounter almost too hot to handle…
Drew and Kate play an encore to Tangled in this sexy take on a “Christmas Carol” by Emma Chase. When a Christmas Eve argument condemns Drew to a troubled night, three dream women teach him that no gift could be more tantalizing than Kate…
With Kristen Proby, ski slopes are quite delightful. Grace Douglas is sure she’ll never learn to ski, but instructor Jacob Baxter could teach her lessons of a different kind…
Can a southern California transplant survive Montana’s deep snows? Melody Anne, author of the bestselling Andersons series, melts the icy drifts completely away with the heat between sexy Hawk Winchester and brand-new teacher Natalie Duncan…
What could be hotter than a firefighter? Kate Meader shows how hot it can get as Beck Rivera and heiress-turned-tattoo-artist Darcy Cochrane discover that nothing ignites holiday flames like rekindling a lost love…
2. Hard Time by Cara McKenna
Annie Goodhouse doesn’t need to be warned about bad boys; good sense and an abusive ex have given her plenty of reasons to play it safe. But when she steps into her new role as outreach librarian for Cousins Correctional Facility, no amount of good sense can keep her mind—or eyes—off inmate Eric Collier.
Eric doesn’t claim to be innocent of the crime that landed him in prison. In fact, he’d do it again if that’s what it took to keep his family safe. Loyalty and force are what he knows. But meeting Annie makes him want to know more.
When Eric begins courting Annie through letters, they embark on a reckless, secret romance—a forbidden fantasy that neither imagines could ever be real…until early parole for Eric changes everything, and forces them both to face a past they can’t forget, and a desire they can’t deny.
3. The Chocolate Kiss by Laura Florand
Welcome to La Maison des Sorcieres. Where the window display is an enchanted forest of sweets, a collection of conical hats delights the eye and the habitués nibble chocolate witches from fanciful mismatched china. While in their tiny blue kitchen, Magalie Chaudron and her two aunts stir wishes into bubbling pots of heavenlychocolat chaud.
But no amount of wishing will rid them of interloper Philippe Lyonais, who has the gall to open one of his world famous pastry shops right down the street. Philippe's creations seem to hold a magic of their own, drawing crowds of beautiful women to their little isle amidst the Seine, and tempting even Magalie to venture out of her ivory tower and take a chance, a taste. . .a kiss.
Parisian princesses, chocolate witches, pâtissier princes and sweet wishes--an enchanting tale of amour et chocolat.
4. Dangerous Lover by Lisa Marie Rice
"I don’t want to be alone tonight."
Caroline Lake can hardly believe she would ever say these words to someone she'd never met before. When a tall, dark stranger arrives wanting to rent a room in her beautiful empty shell of a mansion, she hesitates. Though she is in dire financial straits, the man looks dangerous—dangerously sexy. She's overwhelmed by the desire he sparks in her—hotter than anything she's ever felt before, making her ache to experience his sensuous touch. But who is this armed and mysterious man with danger following in his wake? He's not who she thinks he is . . .
Jack Prescott has wanted Caroline forever. He has spent the past twelve years dreaming of her, desiring her, while fighting in some of the worst hellholes on earth. Now he's back, with twenty million dollars in blood diamonds and a relentless enemy stalking him. But this time Jack's determined that nothing will stop him from finally making Caroline his.
5. As You Wish by Elyssa Patrick
Love doesn’t always follow the sheet music . . .
This Christmas, Portia Jackson needs a miracle to save her family’s generations-old florist shop. What she gets instead is a car that breaks down during a blizzard. Help arrives unexpectedly when the infamous Aubry Riley pulls over. She only expects him to drive her to the gas station . . . she never expects that kiss. But Portia lives in the real world—she knows this is only a holiday fling for Aubry. Except it doesn’t feel so temporary, and the last thing she wants is a broken heart.
Sometimes you have to sing some different notes . . .
Rock star Aubry Riley has no secrets. Thanks to the media, everyone knows about his troubled past. Six years have gone by since his world crashed, and now he’s ready for a comeback. But first he needs to reconcile with his family—starting with his six-year-old daughter. A month-long vacation at a Vermont lake house affords him the perfect opportunity to take a step in the right direction. He doesn’t need any other emotional entanglements, especially not with the bright-eyed florist he can’t stop thinking about. But no matter how hard he tries to resist her, he can’t. Now all he has to do is to convince Portia that there is nothing temporary when it comes to love.
6. Captivated by Megan Hart and Tiffany Reisz
Letting Goby Megan Hart
Colleen goes to the same bar every night and orders the same drink: a whiskey, neat. She doesn't drink it, though. Jesse the bartender notices the beautiful, sad woman who keeps to herself. Until one night when she lets go and lets him in. And after that, Jesse has only one mission—to show her one night is only the beginning…
Seize the Night by Tiffany Reisz
Five years ago, a night of forbidden passion between Remi and Julien, the heirs of two powerful and competitive horse-racing families, led to a feud that is threatening to ruin both farms. Now Remi must find Julien again—but when she does, her need for Julien is just as strong and just as forbidden…
7. One Night in the Ice Storm by Noelle Adams
The ice will melt between them...in one hot night.
When Rachel arrives back in her hometown for the Christmas holiday, she doesn't expect to be stranded alone in an ice storm with David Harris. David is her brother's best friend, and she's known him all her life. She lost her virginity to him. And he's the one man she can never forgive.
Despite all of the reasons she knows not to trust him, she finds herself falling for him again as they try to keep warm in the storm. No matter how irresistible she still finds him, she definitely plans to resist.
But everything changes in only one night.
8. Snowbound by Larissa Ione
Passion hot enough to melt the slopes…and their hearts.
Thanks to a devastating medical diagnosis, ski patroller Sean Trenton has endured two years of celibacy. Two long years that have chipped away at his confidence. Now, with the career opportunity of a lifetime on the line, he’s ready to remedy the celibacy situation, and sexy snowbunny Robyn Montgomery is just what the doctor ordered.
Unfortunately, the last thing reliable, intense radio station manager Robyn Montgomery wants in her suddenly turbulent professional and personal life is a thrill-seeking former Olympic skier—even if he is a total hottie. She’s had it with guys who hog the spotlight and leave her in the shadows. So why is it that even an icy blizzard can’t temper the combustible heat between them?
9. Snow Falling on Bluegrass by Molly Harper
Kentucky Tourism Commission employee and executive assistant extraordinaire Kelsey is known around the office for having everything under control. So it’s not surprising that she and her boss, Sadie, have everything planned to the second for the office winter retreat. But there are things even Kelsey can’t micromanage.
An unprecedented snowstorm smothers half of Kentucky and knocks out the power, closes the roads, and generally shuts down the state. Luckily, the lodge has working fireplaces and enough food to keep the staff from turning on each other like something out of The Shining. Kelsey wouldn’t mind being stuck inside if it wasn’t for the tension with her not-so-secret crush, Charlie, the office’s statistician. But handsome Ranger Luke, the lodge’s only employee on hand, is there to take Kelsey’s mind off her discomfort.
Even though this weekend is supposed to be a planning session for KTC, Kelsey can’t help her mind from wandering and finds herself conflicted over Luke and Charlie. Someone’s love will keep her warm, but whose will it be?
10. Skin Deep by Pamela Clare