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review 2018-10-15 02:13
Not Afraid of No Ghosts
The Other Side - J.D. Robb,Patricia Gaffney,Mary Blayney,Ruth Ryan Langan

Typical anthology, some stories were good, though most were meh. I would probably have put this aside after the JD Robb story, but kept plugging away.

 

Possession in Death (In Death #31.5) by JD Robb (3.5 stars)- This is a futuristic romance taking place in 2060. It was nice to read an In Death story showing all of Eve's coworkers and people important to her. We start off with everyone at a fun BBQ which is quickly overshadowed by murder. I do wish that the more recent works had everyone together in them and actually just hanging out. I had no idea how much I missed that until I read this story. We have Eve called away and finds herself holding an older Romany woman (Gizi) who was stabbed to death. Eve agrees to find Gizi's granddaughter Beata that has gone missing. Eve realizes slowly though that somehow she has been possessed by Gizi. She and Roarke work together to see if they figure out what happened to Beata in order for Eve to return back to normal. I liked the thought of Eve being able to see ghosts and help lay them to rest. Frankly it's not much different from her dreams which have seemed to gotten more prophetic at times during the series. In the end though, the entire story-line moved a little too fast (not surprising since this is a short story) and we don't get a chance to digest things.

 

The Other Side of the Coin by Mary Blayney (5 stars)- This is a historical romance taking place in 1810. The one story not about ghosts in any way was my favorite. I liked the idea of the Earl of Fellsborough (Harry) swapping bodies with his wife (Bettina). They have an argument and both throw a mysterious coin that is nearby and wish for things at the same time. Bettina wishes that Harry could be in her shoes and Harry wishes that his wife would trust him. It was pretty funny to read them trying to deal with the ins and outs of being men and women in this time period. We also got to see their views on a lot of things such as the slave trade too. The funniest scene though was when the Earl got a period (in his wife's body) and I maybe laughed so hard I hurt my ribs. The agony he was in and the countess just rolling her eyes was hilarious. 

“Does it feel like some monster from hell is working its way through your stomach and below and the only relief will be when it explodes out of you? But before that can happen the pain fades, but only for a few moments.”

“Yes.” He sounded amazed at her insight.

“It happens every month, my lady,” Bettina said with a sarcastic emphasis on the honorific. “Indeed, it will happen monthly right before your courses for the next twenty years.”

“God help me.” 

I also like how Blayney played with romance scenes in this one too. 

 

Dancing Ghost by Patricia Gaffney (3 stars)-This is a historical romance taking place in 1895. A young woman (Angie Darlington) hires a man (Henry Cleland) who claims to be a paranormal investigator. Angie doesn't really believe that Henry can find or sense ghosts. She is merely trying to use him to prove her grandparent's house is haunted in order to prevent her cousin from selling it. I just found myself bored while reading this. Neither characters interested me much. I was more interested in the literary sayings about love that were appearing on a mirror in a bedroom. 

 

Almost Heaven by Ruth Ryan Langan (2 stars)-This is a contemporary romance. Ted and Vanessa are an older and happily married couple. They leave a party celebrating their daughter's engagement and died when the brakes fail. They get to stay on this side as ghosts and are told they can hang around for a while, but not interfere. Things get dicey though when they realize that someone purposely murdered them. This and the next story are among my least favorite in this anthology. Probably because we don't get any character development from Christina and Jake. They are just props in the overall story and you don't really root for them. I also didn't like Ted that much when he admits he thought their young son Tyler (who suffers from autism) was not intelligent. I just hard cringed at that line. 

 

Never Too Late for Love by Mary Kay McComas (2 stars)-This is also a contemporary romance. MJ is hell-bent on selling her mother's home and then comes to find her ghost and the ghosts of her two aunts who have passed on. The story had too much going on, and McComas trying to throw a love story in there didn't help either. I just didn't think that the story-line was remotely interesting since it seemed like all MJ was talk. And I didn't buy her romance with the guy next door (Ryan) he was beige as hell. The ending just fell flat. I wish the anthology had wrapped on a stronger note. 

 

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text 2018-10-14 21:16
Reading progress update: I've read 50%.
The Other Side - J.D. Robb,Patricia Gaffney,Mary Blayney,Ruth Ryan Langan

Yikes. If I wasn't reading this for a square I would totally DNF it.

 

So far only one story is really tied together with a ghost, Eve Dallas's "Possession in Death" (In Death #31.5). it initially is okay with Eve and Roarke having a BBQ at their home with Eve's fellow cops and friends. She is still feeling awful after closing the case on two thrill killers from the last book (FYI, I forgot how much I loathed that book). Eve gets a call and goes out and finds a woman dying after being stabbed, someone though Eve invites her into herself and is able to see the newly dead. It works mostly, and I did love that Roarke this time was very much about doing what he could to get Eve back to herself. 

 

"The Other Side of the Coin" by Mary Blayney has the Earl and Countess of Fellsborough switching bodies. I know that many people who have read these anthologies know that Blayney also has the whole magical coin thing going on. This was pretty interesting and I loved the resolution. No ghosts though.

 

I started "Dancing Ghost" by Patricia Gaffney and so far am not a fan. Reading two people sending letters back and forth to each other is boring me to tears. At least this one is about ghost hunters it seems operating in the 1800s. 

 

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review 2018-10-14 16:20
Tribute by Nora Roberts
Tribute - Nora Roberts

Cilla McGowan, washed-up star, comes to Virginia to restore her famous grandmother's house. But someone doesn't want Cilla around, determined to do anything to drive her out of town. But she's not alone; her hot and quirky neighbor, Ford Sawyer, a comic book author, is close at hand to help...And to keep her in Virginia.


What makes this book (if you saw the TV movie, the book is way better, even though you know who did it) memorable is Ford Sawyer. He deserves five stars all on his own. I love the guy. What's not to love after all. He was nerdy, quirky, hot, protective, loyal, deceptively laid back and relaxed and so damned in love it made me want to go out and find me a Ford of my own.
Compared to him, Cilla, the heroine, paled and I must say I didn't really know her, not even in the end. It's not every day the heroine plays such a second fiddle to the hero. She was rather formulaic, a pretty standard NR heroine with a chip on her shoulder and an independent streak. But she was rather bland and generic.
Heck, Spock the dog had more personality than she did. The supporting cast was more interesting than she was. I don't know how to explain it, she left me quite cold and disinterested.

The suspense was good, even though I knew who the villain was. If I didn't, the identity would've been a huge surprise, something I wouldn't have seen coming, which is always a plus. The big bad was pleasantly twisted, wearing a perfectly innocuous mask, which made the big reveal that more coldly shocking.

The book started off rather slow and I didn't much care for the flashback/dream scenes, but it picked up the pace toward the end, creating a nice feeling of anticipation. The hero was adorable, the supporting cast provided a nice backdrop to the story and the shop talk, though rather abundant, didn't deter from the overall enjoyment.

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text 2018-10-08 19:31
Reading progress update: I've read 1%.
The Other Side - J.D. Robb,Patricia Gaffney,Mary Blayney,Ruth Ryan Langan

Hold.

 

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review 2018-10-08 15:20
Same Old, Same Old
Leverage in Death - J.D. Robb

I think for the most part the mystery aspect of the book was good. For once you couldn't figure out who done it until the very end. It also made sense why Roarke was involved with this one. However, the nonsense with the Oscars and Eve somehow being able to beat down a former military guy who kept himself in shape by saying her training with the master is what helped her made me irritated and also laugh. Oh wait, I have to laugh again cause Roarke with one punch was able to knock him out cold.

 

"Leverage in Death" is book #47 in the "In Death" series by JD Robb. It's been a few weeks since the events in the last book. And now apparently it has to be February/March since the Icove Case that Nadine adapted into a screenplay is now up for Oscars. "Leverage" starts off with a man, Paul Rogan, who walks into a conference room and blows himself and others up. At first it seems that Rogan had to be a disgruntled employee, however, Eve and the rest of her squad quickly find out that someone forced Rogan to do it, under duress. When Eve starts pulling back the layers on this case, another one pops up with a fear that even more people out there are going to be harmed in order for the perpetrators to make a killing by those who are harmed/killed. 

 

Okay, here comes praise time. I really did like how leverage in the Stock Market, playing the margins, etc. came into play here. It made sense for Roarke to be the consultant on this one since Eve knows nothing about the Stock Market or how leverage comes into play. I also loved though that Baxter knew about the Stock Market enough that he was able to provide some interesting points too. 

 

The perpetrators on this one were not easily picked out while reading. There are a lot of suspects in this one and a lot of characters. We get enough information about everyone involved that you are going to have some type of feeling towards these people. Also thank you for once not having vulnerable women raped. It felt like every book in this series lately has had that aspect of that included, and I didn't miss it one bit. 


I also loved the what if aspect of this case. What if you were told your family was going to die if you didn't do something horrific in turn. Could you, would you do it? I loved that Eve and Roarke had that conversation. 


We get to immerse ourselves more into the world of the e-geeks and I loved that Feeny calls all of his people boys. I cracked up at Callender giving him grief over that.


And it was nice to see Baxter and Trueheart more in this one too. Baxter even gets to be alongside Eve when she goes into the box to interrogate the suspects. 

 

And for once the fight didn't work my nerves on this one. FYI, I was totally on Roarke's side on that one. 

 

Now here comes what annoyed me/took me out of the book. 

 

So even though we have some people hell-bent on blowing people up, we can't forget for a second that Peabody and McNabb deserve to go to the Oscars for reasons and then we have a whole stupid subplot about them still being allowed to go though the perpetrators were not caught. At least we didn't have Peabody acting like an ass like she did during "Kindred in Death" when she kept talking about how an active murderer who was raping people needed to be dealt with and arrested prior to Charles and Louise's wedding otherwise true love would die.


Speaking of Charles and Louise, they are barely in these books anymore. We have a throwaway line how one of the crime scenes is near their place. 

 

The whole thing with the Oscars was maddening enough, but now Robb is setting it up that we are now going to be hearing about the next movie in the series soon since Nadine wrote a great manuscript and I maybe rolled my eyes a million times. And then somehow Mavis was up for an Oscars for Best Song and this is the first time it was mentioned. I really wish that Robb had never included that whole movie into her books and now it seems like we are being told there's at least two more coming out. 

 

I also can't get over how Eve can beat a male suspect who outweighs her and is taller than her in hand to hand. I would rather forget that Roarke bought her sessions with the master and all that. 


Mira continues to just be there to be Eve's Greek chorus. If she's not actually going to be doing profiles that disagree with Eve and or Eve being wrong once in a while, I have no idea why she is even used. 

 

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