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review 2017-03-08 15:19
An Adult Version of a Classic that Left me Sleepless
Beauty of the Beast - Rachel L. Demeter

In this remake of this classic tale there is no magic, no curse, not even a singing tea cup. Belle aka Isabelle is a support your family, make sacrifices and do the best you can kind of beauty. The beast is Prince Adam is a horribly scared man emotionally and physically, his best friend is a dog named Stranger who he rescued. Sebastian, is still a servant of sort to his family, more of a friend. Belles’ tormentor is a wicked abusive man with money, power and wants to own her in the worst way. The characters are complex, the relationship is earned, in a slow painful process that I completely enjoyed.
Isabelle runs from her tormentor and home after a horrific series of events and sexual abuse at his hands. Her plan to take her blind, ill father and find a new life for them is thwarted when the weather turns and they are forced to seek shelter at a dank, depressed castle behind rusted gates. When the door opens and she is greeted by a huge man in a dark cloak and a growling giant dog she nearly turns back toward the sure death of the storm. Forcing this dark giant to let them in drawing on her determination to improve their situation she begins a series of events that had me up all night reading while my household slept.
The beast, Adam, lives in his past. He is a living nightmare, swimming with the ghost of his past day and night. Living alone in a decrepit castle with his dog and family relics. He feeds his unhappiness and sorrow with solitude and bitterness. When this woman and her father crash into his solitude he does not adjust easily and become the gentle host. He overreacts to a simple event that will cut a deep wound in Belles heart. He has little to no experience with other people, he is like a lost child acting out. He stole my heart.
Oh Ms. Demeter created a repulsive character in Raphael, Belles tormentor. Deplorable actions and words, a complete piece of rot. I couldn’t have hated him more, so what does she do ? She gives him a background that almost had me feeling sorry for the vermin. That was a tricky little twist of the knife. I was feeling a tug not he old heart strings until he pulled the trigger and killed… well I’m not telling you who. He wasn’t her only wicked man. A most trusted man broke the heart of his friend.
I can’t wait to read more from this author. She twisted me around her finger with her wonderful story telling. The words were beautifully pulled together and created an adult version that does justice to the classic.

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review 2017-01-07 05:18
THE EDUCATION OF DIXIE DUPREE by Donna Everhart
The Education of Dixie Dupree - Donna Everhart
 

THE EDUCATION OF DIXIE DUPREE

Donna Everhart

Paperback, 352 pages
Published October 25th 2016 by Kensington
ISBN
1496705513 (ISBN13: 9781496705518)
I really enjoyed this book despite some of the difficult to hear subjects represented in the book. Everhart writes from Dixie Dupree's point of view and does a great job of giving the characters personality. The story line kept me coming back to check in on Dixie while she dealt with some pretty serious stuff for an 11 year old. I would definitely recommend this, with the disclaimer of be ready for some serious subject matter. This is not a bad thing, as the subjects need to be talked about (I'm trying not to add spoilers).
 

 

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review 2016-11-10 17:34
Matt (The Cowboys, #9) Leigh Greenwood 4 Stars!
Matt - Leigh Greenwood

This week's recommendation of a book I really liked-- Matt (The Cowboys, #9) Leigh Greenwood, Everyone should read more Westerns. 

 

This whole series is constantly great but this romance has a special place in my heart because of the hero. This is my favorite kind of love story where the couple is must contend with each other just as they are. They have both suffered in the past and come together to have a healing love.

 

Greenwood writes a compelling love story, You will be deeply moved. 

 

------

 

Matt Haskins proved to be the most difficult of all the orphans in The Cowboys to write about. It's not easy to make a hero out of a man who has been sexually molested, especially when the abuse has given him a mental block against physical contact. I had to find a way to make the reader see that Matt's strength was of a different kind from most cowboys. It was almost as difficult to make Ellen Donovan see it.

Ellen's experience with men has been all bad. When she's forced to marry Matt so they can each keep the children they're trying to adopt, she's certain he has ulterior motives. She sets up stringent conditions before agreeing to the marriage of convenience. She expected Matt to accept them -- she wouldn't have married him otherwise -- but she was a little surprised, and disappointed, when he stuck to them after they were married. Ellen didn't want a quiet, unassuming husband. She wanted one who would take on the world in her defense. Matt had the size and the strength, but she didn't see much else to recommend him.

Taking on the responsibility of the two boys Matt wanted to adopt was one more thing she didn't need. She planned to stay married just long enough so the crusading Revered Wilbur Sears couldn't take her kids or Matt's boys. Then she was headed for San Antonio to open her own hat shop.


But while Ellen was making plans to leave Matt and his two troublesome boys behind, she discovered there was a lot more to this good-looking cowboy than met the eye.

 

 

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review 2016-08-23 14:33
Damaged
Damaged - Lisa Scottoline

By: Lisa Scottoline

Rosato & DiNunzio #4

ISBN: 9781250099624

Publisher: St Martin's Press 

Publication Date: 8/16/2016 

Format: Hardcover

My Rating: 4 Stars 

 

A special thank you to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Lisa Scottoline returns following Most Wanted (2016) withDAMAGED (Rosato & DiNunzio, #4) featuring attorney, Mary DiNuzio—(law partner) about to be married to Anthony, and becomes involved in a complex legal, and highly charged emotional case which threatens her personal and business life.

Mary DiNunzio, a partner in the Philadelphia law firm Rosato & DiNunzio, takes on a heartbreaking case involving a dyslexic fifth grader, Patrick O’Brien, who’s bullied at school and is getting no support for his language disability.

Patrick, is being raised by his paternal grandfather, and allegedly attacked a school aid with scissors, and the aid is suing both Patrick and the school board for damages.

Edward O’Brien, grandfather--in his seventies and comes the law firm for help. His grandson is special needs (dyslexic) and needs representation. On top of his learning disabilities, he is being bullied at school, plus turns out suffering from much more.

Robertson is represented by Nick Machiavelli, known for his dirty practices. Mary is caught in the middle and falls in love with Patrick and quickly comes to his defense. She even wants to adopt him, after winning her heart. Her parent’s also rally around her as well as the other gals at the law firm.

However, things get complicated when she finds herself in the middle of a murder investigation, after Edward’s death. Mary has many difficult choices to make involving her own relationship with college professor Anthony-, torn between her love and dedication to Patrick, when scrutinized by everyone, including Machiavelli.

I enjoyed learning the author’s inspiration behind the novel –a best friend, a fellow lawyer, who works on special-education cases. What is the best thing to do for a special needs child, when lines are blurred between ethical, moral, professional and personal lives.

Gripping! An intense fight for justice, a mixture of legal suspense thriller and riveting domestic suspense. From education, sexual abuse, learning disabilities, bullying, and parenting. A nice balance with loads of Scottoline’s signature winning style. An avid legal and Scottoline fan, as always love catching up with Judy, Bennie, and family.

 



On a personal note: Having raised three stepsons with dyslexia, am very familiar with the learning disability and the many ongoing challenges, when compared to my own two sons. Their educational needs, from tutoring, untimed SATs, to daily social interactions required special monitoring and attention.

From behavior, health, development, personality, writing, reading, motor skills, and even time management inconsistencies, are some of the many traits and behaviors. The characteristics can vary from day to minute, and each child is different in many ways. Many times they are highly creative with high IQs; however, their learning disabilities may become quite challenging for children, teens, college students and even into adulthood--without the proper guidance, research, compassion, education and support.

JDCMustReadBooks

Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/#!Damaged/cmoa/56e18b1f0cf29c0b75f4ec08
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review 2016-04-11 01:06
Forgive Me
Forgive Me - Daniel Palmer

By: Daniel Palmer

ISBN: 9780758293473 

Publisher:  Kensington

Publication Date: 5/31/2016

Format: Hardcover 

My Rating: 5 Stars +++ 

Top Books of 2016 

 

Featured Weekend Read

April 8-10

 

A special thank you to Kensington and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. BTW, Great cover. The book, 10 Stars!!

Totally A M A Z I N G !

FORGIVE ME, without a doubt "Top Books" of the Year. Movie-Worthy "Big Screen." Daniel Palmer's BEST yet!

Palmer's (2015) Constant Fear and Trauma both landing on my Top Books of 2015. Once again . . . 

 

Highly Impressive: The author has produced two more "out of the park" hits, landing again on my Top Books of 2016:Mercy Coming May 17, and Forgive Me, Coming May 31.

 

Palmer must have superman qualities to crank out two extraordinary bestsellers in the same month, for two consecutive years. Your dad would be proud.

As the book opens we learn of a woman, with tear stained eyes, writing a check and a note. She whispers the same phrase she has spoken every year on this day, at this exact moment. “May God forgive me.” Some dreams come at a price.

Set in Virginia (parts in Maryland and Washington), Angie DeRose is a Private Investigator at DeRose & Associates. She had gone into business with a purpose, but had been naïve about the depth of human cruelty. Each case was like turning over a rock to see what sort of horror might slither out. She took it all to heart, carried with her the emotion of what she saw every day.

From runaways or child custody cases, she went overboard to get results, to get proof in order to protect the child. From abuse, neglected, drug addicted parents- the world, a broken place.

Her best friend Sarah had vanished without a trace her senior year of college. Missing. She longed to do something to honor her memory and her spirit. Her mission to find the runaway kids and take them back home.

Nadine, a sixteen-year- old caught in world between divorced parents, living with an alcoholic and abusive mother, and an absentee wealthy father-- with a new life and family. Often no food in the refrigerator, and her mom drunk most of the time. She decides to leave. A runaway with no plan. Just to escape, and hopefully someone would notice. Innocent and vulnerable, the perfect candidate (victim) for an evil monster---a master manipulator. Lurking to find runaways, like Nadine.

She is naïve and trusts this man, and soon finds herself in a prison, a nightmare, which she cannot escape. Soon she is drugged, locked in – her phone and wallet gone. No escape. Each day she writes in a journal and hides it in slot in her mattress. She will do anything to escape being put in the hole. Tortured, drugged, abused, locked in with men watching her every move along with the other girls—how will she ever escape?

The DeRose family was well-respected, her dad ran DeRose Financial a financial service firm specializing in investing in high net worth individuals, and Kathleen, her mom, a big fund raiser. Her mom always wanted Angie to meet a man, but Angie was too busy with her business to have time for dating. She was on call 24/7. Her only other extended family-- her stand in, aunt and uncle-friends of her parents.

Soon Angie is hired to help find Nadine. While she is busy with the case tracking down leads with her employees, Angie receives some tragic news. Her mom dies unexpectedly and when cleaning out her things she comes across a photo of a little girl around four years old missing an ear. There is a code on the bottom with letters and numbers. On the back is a message, “May God forgive me.”

Angie, with her keen detective skills, has to crack this code. How was her mom connected with this child? Between the intense case of Nadine, suspecting sextrafficking, and the ongoing mystery surrounding this photo, Angie is surrounded by danger. What dark family secrets could her parents be hiding? Her mom was one of the most caring and giving women she knew.

Bao, a former runaway Angie had found, and was later adopted. A few years later after he turned twenty, he went to work for Angie as a certified computer forensic consultant. He provided incredible assets—not only with his only skills and expertise at the keyboard, but also because he knew how runaway kids thought. She also works with Mike (another former client in a custody case), who also runs another business and helps with her overflow. (A great team).

When Nadine’s case becomes top priority, the FBI is now involved and Bryce Taggart, the US Marshal is working with Angie. She connects with him to help her with answers of the haunting little girl in the photograph. However, she has no clue the dangerous past they are about to uncover. There are enemies who will stop at nothing to protect their secret.

Angie, a tenacious, unstoppable PI. A family secret. A mysterious photograph. A little girl without an ear. A code. A missing teen. Witness protection. Angie is haunted by Sarah, and Nadine haunted by Jade. Both victims, they have to save.

OMG, the suspense and intensity is at an all time high. Nothing plays out as you think. Fast-paced, non-stop action-- adrenaline fueled, readers will be page-turning to find answers to this riveting mystery.

What made this book so unforgettable (more than one thing). The heart wrenching journal entries. I loved Girls Like Me by Nadine Jessup). Palmer gets inside a sixteen year old girl's mind. From the dialect, social media, the innermost sensitive thoughts.

“There’s just different experiences we can choose to learn from, to grow from, or choose to let define us. Not everything happens for a reason, but there is reason everything happens. Real life isn’t neat and tidy like that. It doesn’t get tied up in a cute little bow. That’s for fairy tales, right? We know those fairy tale endings aren’t real, but we can still dream. We can still believe. Hope."

Next, the two separate storylines. Brilliant! Both stories will keep you glued to the pages (like a book inside a book); Shocking twists you do not see coming --how the photograph plays out. Masterminds.

Beautifully written, powerful, explosive, skillfully developed, impeccably researched; A highly-charged inter-generational mystery suspense thriller of dark evil secrets. "A must read" for every teen and adult, worldwide.

Emotional, complex, suspenseful, highly-innovative, and "jaw-dropping," edge of your seat thriller. A double whammy--two books in one. From twists and turns, shockers, missing and exploited teens, runaways, drugs, sextrafficking, alcoholism, greed, corruption, and murder, to age-old crimes; an ongoing mystery--Connects. Told from different POVs.

Please, please, please . . let this be the beginning of a series! These characters HOOK you from page one, and "hang" long after the book ends. They are way TOO good to end. More Angie, Nadine, Bryce, Bao, Mike (Jade, Sarah, Sasha). After finishing the book at 5 am this morning (no, you cannot put it down)-- the vivid characters continue to haunt me, running through my mind constantly, during my 50 mile bike ride today.

Daniel, words cannot adequately express my thoughts and strong feelings for this "talented work of art". I am speechless. You, sir have outdone yourself. #Amazeballs(taking a page from your book). You ARE cool, like that.Evocative journal entries Award-winning! Would love to hear more about the inspiration behind this intriguing book (both stories) with an author Q&A.

Informative & enlightening—21 million people, just like Nadine. Forced labor takes different forms, including debt bondage, sextrafficking and other forms of modern slavery. The victims are the most vulnerable – women and girls forced into prostitution.

This is a big one. Epic! Move FORGIVE ME to the top of your list and Pre-Order Now.

JDCMustReadBooks

 

 

Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/#!Forgive-Me/cmoa/56a4ff9c0cf215a9bb933f7a
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