Friday, March 16, 2012

Mini Reviews

The Comforts of Home by Jodi Thomas

In Harmony, Texas, twenty-year-old Reagan Truman has found her place, and found her family. But with her uncle taken ill and her friend Noah lost and disheartened with his life, Reagan is afraid of ending up alone again, and she's not the only one. When a terrible storms threatens the town, the residents of Harmony are forced to think about what they really want. Because making the connections they so desperately desire means putting their hearts at risk.

Well written, interesting people, but a lot of individual story-lines at once that never seemed to connect. Third in a series so possibly I just needed more background info, but the multiple plots and number of characters - though each one was a good story - made for slow progress and little tension.  3 out of 5 with a footnote that I haven't read the first two.

Hollywood Confessions by Gemma Halliday

Allie Quick has high aspirations - much higher than reporting on the latest celebrity gossip for the L.A. Informer.  But she needs a headline-worthy story under her belt. When the producer of the trashiest reality shows on TV winds up murdered, and Allie convinces her editor that this story has her name written all over it. Between an aging dance-off judge, a family with sextuplets and triplets, and the star of a little person dating show, Allie has no shortage of reality stars to question. But when she finds herself falling for her prime suspect, Allie's relationship with her editor is suddenly on the rocks, and her life is in danger. This is one deadline Allie can't afford to miss! 

One blurb on Amazon states that fans of Janet Evanovich will love it - and well they should, because it's Stephanie Plum does Valley Girl.  It's got too many vulgar words, redundant phrases and cliches; but not enough originality.  A "little person" in the story - check, Stephanie's done it.  Car issues - check, Stephanie again.  Empty cupboards, extra layers of mascara - check and check, done and done.  The clues seem to come awfully easy, as does access to Hollywood film studios, so it's difficult to get invested in the story at all.  Sorry, but it's a 2 out of 5 for me.

Great Cat Mysteries: An Anthology of Feline Capers

Intrigue, crime and murder create suspense in this edge-of-your-seat collection of stories whose plots are all centered on a beloved feline, by some of the finest bestselling mystery writers of all times. The audio features The Adventures of 7 Black Cats by Ellery Queen, The Duel by J.A. Jance, No Hard Feelings by Larry Segriff and Nine Lives to Live by Sharyn McCrumb. Performers include Jean Smart, Jamie Farr, and Eleanor Mondale. 

There are some advantages to driving an old car to work - I still have a cassette player (I'll be taking it to Pawn Stars soon to see if it's worth anything as an antique) so I can enjoy some lesser-known books from years gone by that don't rank reproduction in CD.  This was a fun collection read by many recognizable voices, including that guy from the Smuckers Jelly commercials.  The down side to 15-year-old cassettes is that they wear out, which was the case here, so there was a couple stories I didn't get to hear - but 4 out of 5 stars for the ones I did hear.

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