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review 2017-09-22 12:24
Ramblings from Bad to Meh: Dear Maggie
Dear Maggie - Brenda Novak

Dear Maggie
by Brenda Novak

 

 

Maggie Russell, a police reporter in Sacramento, works the night shift, and she's finally stumbled on the big crime story that will truly establish her career—if it doesn't end her life.  A serial killer who moves from one city to the next.

As if things aren't complicated enough, Nick Sorenson, the paper's new photographer, seems to be taking an unusual interest in this case.  And in her.  Maggie doesn't realize that she's falling in love with a man who's not what he seems to be.  A man whose deceptions may save her life.



I feel like our MC, Maggie, should just take out an advertisement and broadcast everything about her life into public: where she lives, where she works, all of her trade secrets, what she and her son look like, and how best to infiltrate her home--a home she doesn't even bother taking precautions to secure or guard while there's a serial killer running around killing women.

And her reason for not locking her doors or windows at night while she's sleeping, is simply because the house is too hot, there's no central air.  But she says that there's an air conditioner in her bedroom.  She really could lock all the doors and windows at night, then lock herself and her son in her bedroom and sleep with the air conditioner on.  Maybe.

Of course, since she gives no reason as to why she's also being so open about her entire life with "John," her new online potential boyfriend, I suppose her behavior is par for TSTL anyway.  They'd only met all of twice, maybe; he takes her on a cyber date, refuses to send her a picture of himself... so SHE sends him a picture of herself with her son... y'know, just to hint that she'd like to see a picture of him.  She spends a lot of time telling him anything and everything about herself, even some of the confidential stuff she works with as a reporter.

And at that point, she STILL has no idea who this guy really is.

Honestly, if "John" weren't our male MC, playing undercover to try to "get to know" Maggie, and get friendly with her to make it easier to protect her, I foresee Maggie stumbling into some psychotic serial murderer who probably uses the internet to lure unsuspecting lamb to be chopped.  For a single mother who's apparently heard and seen a lot of stuff in her job as a crime reporter, she really doesn't seem to have a grasp about how dangerous strangers can be.

I'm not sure why she figured that she knew and understood "John" so well.  I'm not even sure why she was so quick to trust him.  I suspect this was just part of the plot device to get our hero and heroine into a situation where there would end up being super-angst by the end of the book, because lies and deceit are being tossed around.  I also figure that we might be playing into a bit of the "You've Got Mail" thing (a movie of which I loved, BTW, when it first came out in 1998).

Keeping in mind that this book was written in 2001, when internet was still kind of a newly developing commodity, I suppose I shouldn't give her so much crap about not realizing the dangers of cyber scams and cyber predators.  Maybe.  In present day, people still fall for these things, no matter how many warnings are put out there.  But she is a crime reporter--I figured that, having seen and heard so much about the dangers of the world, she'd have more of a sense of basic security than to trust a strange man she'd never met online before so readily.

Even before the age of computers, you wouldn't just trust a random stranger enough to tell him your whole life's story after just one conversation... right?

Back to the book itself...

I had considered pulling my DNF trigger as each chapter progressed.  Maggie didn't get any less frustrating, and Nick is kind of boring anyway.  There are literally no other characters of any significance in this book.  Maybe Rambo--but he's a dog, and most of the time, animal companions tend to make a difference--except that he wasn't all that present in the book.

But, as it turns out, I was curious enough about the identity of the serial killer than I would have liked.  And also, I don't think I've ever DNF'd a crap book written by Brenda Novak--and there have been some pretty bad ones--if only because there's a certain, attention-grabbing train-wreck quality to her story progressions.  The action keeps moving forward, and you can't seem to find a stopping point because the action keeps moving forward, and the next thing you know, you've read half the book and then some... so you may as well finish the rest of it.  It's only another hundred and fifty pages after all--how long could that take?

Also, at some point in the book, Maggie starts gaining some sense; I think this was after the serial killer starts contacting her by leaving her voice mail messages on her work phone, and implying that he knows what she went shopping for one night, as well as what color panties she owns.  Then she freaks out and starts thinking about the safety of her son, her friends, and herself.  Then she starts locking her doors and windows, agrees to have a police team stationed outside her home to keep her safe, agrees to leave her son at a safer location most of the day while she's at work, agrees to let our main hero move in with her for the sake of not being alone.

It doesn't matter that she barely knows said main hero; she knows only that he's in town for a short while, he's a new photojournalist who is working for her newspaper temporarily... he's been hitting on her and watching her at work...

He's really an undercover FBI agent trying to investigate the serial murders while keeping an eye on Maggie since the last victim was also an investigative reporter who'd had contact with the serial killer.

Of course, Maggie doesn't know this.  Because she doesn't know anything about the men she meets in this book before she lets them live in her home, or learn about her entire life's story.

Anyway...

The crime aspect of the book wasn't entirely engaging, truth be told; and the ending chapters were standard "damsel in distress" scenario.  The romance was lukewarm, and a bit off-putting considering how much lying and secrecy went into the entire relationship since the beginning.

Maggie is your standard, innocent and almost virginal heroine, who's only ever had one sexual relationship with an ex-husband, and is super conservative with her own behavior, even though she readily breaks out of her prudishness for the hero.  Obviously she's had sex, since she has a son, but she certainly acts like it's a new thing to her.

Nick is the standard broody alpha with commitment issues... who lusts after the heroine, but finds that he's ready to settle down and get married and be in love for the long haul after he meets said heroine.  Because of that special "I've never felt this way before" factor.

I can't say I'm a hundred percent fond of Brenda Novak books, but for some reason, I end up finishing them easily, and keep coming back for more.  At the very least, they're not entirely terrible, even if this one DID get really frustrating.


***

 

Halloween Bingo 2017


Other Possible Squares:

  • Murder Most Foul:  For obvious reasons.
  • Amateur Sleuth:  Female MC is a reporter, although the entire investigation is kind of laughable.
  • Romantic Suspense:  There is romance, there is suspense, there is murder and mayhem...
  • Terrifying Women:  Romantic suspense with a murder, written by a woman.

 

 

Source: anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2017/09/ramblings-from-bad-to-meh-dear-maggie.html
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text 2017-09-19 03:01
A Ranting Update: Dear Maggie
Dear Maggie - Brenda Novak


Progress:  52 of 355 pages (17%)


I'm finding our titular character, Maggie, both contradictory and stupid.  She's also kind of judgmental and a slut-shamer, making some comment about how it's okay to treat one of her co-workers with contempt just because "she's slept with every guy in the office.  Even the publisher."

Because she's kind of lonely and looking for a new father for her son, she's considering signing up for a dating service.  When prompted, she refuses to join her closest friend/co-worker at a bar or club to meet men, because she believes you only meet dangerous killers and stalkers in those places.  She even makes noise about not being able to fit in at a nightclub anyway because she doesn't have any tattoos or body piercings.

She also poo-poos the idea of online dating, because they could attract weirdos or cyber nuts.  But she's still so stuck on the dating service idea--an idea she got through an ad she received in the mail, mind you--and thinks this is the best way to meet men with similar goals, ambitions, highly educated, blah, blah, blah...

It takes her friend showing her a live example of how easy it is to lie on these dating service questionnaires, when Maggie decides to stretch the truth of her own survey question responses, for Maggie to realize that her dating service idea isn't any better than the other ones.  After all, if she can give a few false responses, so could a bunch of other people.  So much for meeting someone highly educated or similarly ambitious or NOT A CREEPY STALKER.

So the two of them agree to meet at a singles chat room that evening to see what it's like.

And then Maggie proceeds to tell everyone in the world about her entire life story, with real names and real incidents and everything.  A few pages later, she once again lays out her entire life story to some complete stranger who was in the chat room, who decided to direct e-mail her so that he could become friendlier with her.

Granted, the complete stranger is our hero, Nick Sorenson who is apparently undercover FBI come to keep security surveillance on Maggie...

But who in their right mind gives their entire story, plus real names, real occupation, the works, to a complete stranger you just met in a chat room?!

Brenda Novak is a Romantic Suspense author I've kept on my radar for some time because I've read some of her books, which had readily hooked me in.  Some were pretty bad, some were mediocre... but Maggie... this girl is some kind of special.

And I'm already getting tired of her "Oh, I'm not even remotely good looking" off-handed comments, in which her friend Darla has to keep inputting, "Honey, you're gorgeous.  You just need to believe it." assurances.

 

 

Halloween Bingo 2017

 

Source: anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2017/09/a-ranting-update-dear-maggie.html
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review 2017-09-18 21:28
Review: Dear Mona Lisa... by Claire Davis & Al Stewart
Dear Mona Lisa... - Al Stewart,Claire Davis

 

Cute enough novella about a man coming out to his daughter...

“Each time you stood together, your green and his scarlet merged. I’d never seen that from you before. I couldn’t stop watching. It was amazing and beautiful and made me cry. I didn’t know what to say but I couldn’t believe it. I still can’t. Colours are never wrong, Dad. Never.”

 

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text 2017-09-13 13:01
Sneak Peek - Dear Bridget, I Want You

 

 

 

   

 

Dear Bridget,

 

I’m writing this letter because it’s highly doubtful I’ll ever garner the courage to say this to your face.

 

So, here goes.

 

We’re totally wrong for each other. You’re the proper single mum with a good head on your shoulders. I’m just the carefree British doctor passing through town and temporarily living in your converted garage until I head back to England.

 

But here’s the thing… for some bloody reason, I can’t stop thinking about you in very inappropriate ways.

 

I want you.

 

The only reason I’m even admitting all of this to you right now is because I don’t believe it’s one-sided. I notice your eyes when you look at me, too. And as crass as I appear when we’re joking around about sex, my attraction to you is not a joke.

 

So, what’s the purpose of this note? I guess it’s a reminder that we’re adults, that sex is healthy and natural, and that you can find me just through the door past the kitchen. More specifically, it’s to let you know that I’m leaving said door cracked open from now on in case you’d like to visit me in the middle of the night sometime.

 

No questions asked.

 

Think about it.

 

Or don’t.

 

Whatever you choose.

 

It’s doubtful I’ll even end up sliding this letter under your door anyway.

 

--Simon

 

 

ADD TO GOODREADS    

 

 

Dear Bridget, I Want You will be available on all platforms on September 18th!

 

Pre-orders are available at the following:

iBooks |  B&N |  Kobo  | Google Play  |  Amazon paperback

 

There is no Amazon eBook preorder. Will go live on Amazon on release day. Sign up for mailing list now and be the first one notified when it goes live

     

 

 

EXCERPT:

 

 

Every time I considered leaving my room, I would grab the framed picture of Ben and stare at it. The urge to go to Simon was so strong; I basically hadn’t put down the framed photo of my deceased husband in an hour. I was lying in my bed, holding a picture of a dead man while fantasizing about one who was very much alive and in the other room. With the door cracked open waiting for me. There was one part of Simon’s note that I just kept reading over and over.

 

I want to make you come. Hard. I want you to get lost in me and I want to hear you say my name over and over while we fuck.

 

While we fuck.

 

While we fuck.

 

I was pretty sure that Ben had never used the word fuck like that before. Did we even fuck? We made love, sure. Our sex life was normal—at least, I think it was normal. Don’t get me wrong, the passion wasn’t the same as when we first got together. But after ten years, both of us working full time and raising a child, it was normal to have some of the desire dwindle, wasn’t it?

 

While we fuck.

 

I looked at the picture of my husband and sighed. We didn’t fuck. Not even in the beginning. And I felt guilty for that now. Maybe we should have been fucking. I certainly didn’t do anything to entice him to want me the last few years. Was it my fault our sex life had gotten boring? I rested the picture of Ben over my heart and laid my hand over it. I could feel my heart beating out of control beneath my fingers.

 

Shutting my eyes, I tried to force thoughts of Simon from my mind. But it was no use. Visions of his hard, sculpted body hovering over me had infiltrated my brain. So, here I was, a thirty-three-year-old, single mother lying in my bed all alone with a picture of my dead husband held to my heart while I visualized fucking another man.

 

Fucking.

 

Not making love.

 

I needed my head examined.

 

After two hours and no sleep in sight, I decided the only way I was going to be able to get any rest was if I got everything I was feeling off of my chest. Flicking on the light, I carefully set the framed photo of my beloved Ben on my nightstand and then opened the drawer and dug out a pen and piece of pretty stationery. I would write down my thoughts to clear my mind. I had no intention of actually giving the letter to Simon, so there was no reason to filter anything I said.

 

Dear Simon…

 

 

 

 

★★★★

 

 

We hope you enjoyed this preview!

 

 

 

 

Penelope Ward is a New York Times, USA Today, and #1 Wall Street Journal Bestselling author of thirteen novels. With over a million books sold, her titles have placed on the New York Times Bestseller list seventeen times. She is the proud mother of a beautiful 12-year-old girl with autism (the inspiration for the character Callie in Gemini) and a 10-year-old boy. Penelope, her husband, and kids reside in Rhode Island. Facebook Fan Group | Facebook | Website |Twitter | Instagram    

 

 

 

Vi Keeland is a #1 New York Times Bestselling author. With more than a million and a half books sold, her titles have appeared in over eighty Bestseller lists and are currently translated in seventeen languages. She lives in New York with her husband and their three children where she is living out her own happily ever after with the boy she met at age six. Website | Facebook Fan Group | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram      

 

 

 

Other books from Vi Keeland & Penelope Ward:

 

Cocky Bastard

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1LfN3fc

iTunes: http://apple.co/1PffE2J

B&N: http://bit.ly/1EjxNpY

Kobo: http://bit.ly/1UxCSUO

 

Stuck-Up Suit

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1S3LnpZ

iBooks: http://apple.co/1Qbwy57

B&N: http://bit.ly/29vrQhV

Kobo: http:// bit.ly/1RJdUif

 

Playboy Pilot

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2d5I5rS

iBooks: http://apple.co/1Wb06Cf

Nook: bit.ly/2caXPEK

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2cJDXO1

 

Mister Moneybags

 

Amazon http://amzn.to/2oTaaHf 
Barnes & Noble
http://smarturl.it/kx7h8m 
iBooks
http://smarturl.it/3y1tuq 
Kobo http://smarturl.it/qqf5ho 

 

Other books from Vi Keeland:

 

Standalone novels

 

Beautiful Mistake

Amazon eBook http://amzn.to/2uoeoJN
iBooks 
http://smarturl.it/20x53a
B&N http://smarturl.it/n8jey6
Kobo http://smarturl.it/1btxsz

 

 

Egomaniac

Amazon: http://smarturl.it/b1gi74

iBooks: http://apple.co/2fIsmvC

B&N: http://smarturl.it/t4ohsv

Kobo: http://smarturl.it/azmhq9

 

Bossman

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2a8D5B6

iBooks: http://apple.co/25x2jyX

B&N: http://bit.ly/29sL4H2

Kobo: http://bit.ly/29lW19I

The Baller

Amazon: amzn.to/1PBF2hG

iBooks: http://bit.ly/iBooksBaller

B&N: http:// bit.ly/BarnesBaller

Kobo: http:// bit.ly/KoboBaller

 

Left Behind (A Young Adult Novel)

http://www.amazon.com/Left-Behind-Vi-Keeland-ebook/dp/B00OJM92LI/

 

First Thing I See

http://www.amazon.com/First-Thing-See-Vi-Keeland-ebook/dp/B00AWXY3HG

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/first-thing-i-see-ms-vi-keeland/1114703332

 

 

Life on Stage series (2 standalone books)

Beat

http://www.amazon.com/Beat-Vi-Keeland-ebook/dp/B00ZOMUV12/ http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/beat-vi-keeland/1121715501 https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/beat/id983959123 https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/beat-5

 

Throb

http://www.amazon.com/Throb-Vi-Keeland-ebook/dp/B00SS2RYBU

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/throb/id948747986

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/throb-vi-keeland/1121112695

https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/throb-4

 

MMA Fighter series (3 standalone books)

Worth the Fight

http://www.amazon.com/Worth-Fight-Vi-Keeland-ebook/dp/B00FLG5B9S

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/worth-the-fight/id805540252

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/worth-the-fight-vi-keeland/1117014180

http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/worth-the-fight

 

Worth the Chance

http://www.amazon.com/Worth-Chance-Vi-Keeland-ebook/dp/B00I2UKQOK

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/worth-the-chance/id813714461

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/worth-the-chance-vi-keeland/1118634058

http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/worth-the-chance

 

Worth Forgiving

http://www.amazon.com/Worth-Forgiving-Vi-Keeland-ebook/dp/B00MWL78EG

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/worth-forgiving/id906130022?ls=1&mt=11

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/worth-forgiving-vi-keeland/1120173153

http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/worth-forgiving

 

The Cole Series (2 book serial)

Belong to You

http://www.amazon.com/Belong-You-A-Cole-Novel-ebook/dp/B00BUTCXLE/

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/belong-to-you/id639401754

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/belong-to-you-vi-keeland/1114962845

http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/belong-to-you

 

Made for You

http://www.amazon.com/Made-You-A-Cole-Novel-ebook/dp/B00DPWVKS6

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/made-for-you/id84550637

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/made-for-you-vi-keeland/1115883225

http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/belong-to-you

 

 

Other books from Penelope Ward:

 

Drunk Dial

 

Amazon http://amzn.to/2fXfzKn
iBooks
http://apple.co/2tq7dRz
Nook 
http://bit.ly/2xeEH2H
Kobo http://bit.ly/2ihXnMD
Audio http://amzn.to/2fWnsQg

Mack Daddy:

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2kWzE1S

iTunes: http://apple.co/2iNrIPj

B&N: http://hyperurl.co/aiypfj

Kobo: http://hyperurl.co/r3hv19

 

RoomHate

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1TksrpE

iTunes: http://apple.co/1PgsvE7

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kobo: http://bit.ly/1POvSnW

 

Stepbrother Dearest

Amazon http://amzn.to/1mFNMeg

ITunes: http://bit.ly/YER0mT

B&N: http://bit.ly/1taMFjG

kobo: http://bit.ly/1fJaaBs

 

Neighbor Dearest

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2aS8BPa

iTunes: http://apple.co/29mC6L8

B&N: http://bit.ly/2akQ2aq

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2axt1SY

 

Sins of Sevin

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1F9tbc3

iTunes: http://apple.co/1K8mzGg

B&N: http://bit.ly/1hTKAKE

kobo: http://bit.ly/1OaGY3D

 

Jake Undone (Jake #1)

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1dJrHBC

iTunes: http://apple.co/1fJayQ8

B&N: http://bit.ly/1obAwJ6

kobo: http://bit.ly/1SPKl0M

 

My Skylar

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1obOG2F

iTunes: http://bit.ly/SLNOTR

B&N: http://bit.ly/SLO1qi

kobo: http://bit.ly/1kNrtAB

 

Jake Understood (Jake #2)

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1GFdves

iTunes: http://apple.co/1DQQwgC

B&N: http://bit.ly/1FwJC0z

kobo: http://bit.ly/1LQ7Fvk

 

Gemini

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1vgk1SE

iTunes: http://apple.co/1QTaONj

B&N: http://bit.ly/1KfmLHD

kobo: http://bit.ly/1BGJ2wu

 

 

 

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review 2017-09-06 19:58
Who Feels Mad, Dear Dragon? by Margaret Hillert, Jack Pullan (Artwork)

 

This is a picture book meant for young children who are starting to learn how to read, or it is simple enough to be read to toddlers. The pictures are bright and vibrant. It is about a little boy who seems to be in a bad mood over every little thing, throwing tantrums, but his parents always respond to him in a calm manner, instead of yelling and punishing. I think this is good because if they just yelled back at him, the child would learn to solve things by yelling, instead of solving things nicely and calmly. By the end, the boy is in a happier mood.

I think this book could be good for children and parents/caregivers.

Disclaimer: I received this from Netgally in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for the chance to read this!

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