THE BIG HIT

THE BIG HIT                                           JAMES NEAL HARVEY
Posted:  March 7, 2015

The Big HitIn Harvey's first new thriller in more than fifteen years, a starlet's murder draws an NYPD detective into a cross-country manhuntMongo wakes up, brushes his teeth, and prepares to kill a movie star. He needs a wig and a phony press pass, as well as a very special tape recorder that holds two flechettes, one of which is earmarked for screen siren Catherine Delure. A bit of smooth talk takes Mongo past Delure's security and into her hotel room, where he completes his assignment with ease. The hit was simple, he thinks. But it is about to go terribly wrong.Delure appears to have been shot during a robbery, but homicide detective Jeb Barker is not fooled. Tracking the self-assured assassin leads the PI first to Las Vegas, then to California--where blue sky and palm trees cannot distract him from the darkness within the hit man's heart.

HUBBY'S REVIEW:
This is a murder mystery but you already know who did it but you follow along as New York detective Jeb Baker, tries to figure it out. Already in trouble from another case he is just trying to figure out who killed the actress and her assistant. The lead detective thinks it is a robbery but he is not so sure. The case sends him to L.A. where it gets more confusing and just when he thinks he has a lead some photos turn up of him that make him look like he was partying in L.A. and doing his job. I like the characters in this book and I like how the author goes back and forth from the detective and the hit man. You get to see each side that for me made the book more enjoyable to read. Also made for a better ending than I thought. So overall a good book. I got this book from net galley.  I give this 4 stars.

THE ARDENNES: 1944-1945

THE ARDENNES: 1944-1945                   CHRISTER BERGSTROM
Posted:  March 7, 2015

The Ardennes, 1944-1945 (Hitler's Winter Offensive)In December 1944, just as World War II appeared to be winding down, Hitler shocked the world with a powerful German counteroffensive that cracked the center of the American front. The attack came through the Ardennes, the hilly and forested area in eastern Belgium and Luxembourg that the Allies had considered a quiet sector. Instead, for the second time in the war, the Germans used it as a stealthy avenue of approach for their panzers.Much of U.S. First Army was overrun, and thousands of prisoners were taken as the Germans forged a 50-mile bulge into the Allied front. But in one small town, Bastogne, American paratroopers, together with remnants of tank units, offered dogged resistance. Meanwhile the rest of Eisenhower s broad front strategy came to a halt as Patton, from the south, and Hodges, from the north, converged on the enemy incursion. Yet it would take an epic, six-week-long winter battle, the bloodiest in the history of the U.S. Army, before the Germans were finally pushed back.Christer Bergstrom has interviewed veterans, gone through huge amounts of archive material, and performed on-the-spot research in the area. The result is a large amount of previously unpublished material and new findings, including reevaluations of tank and personnel casualties and the most accurate picture yet of what really transpired.The Ardennes Offensive has often been described from the American point of view; however, this balanced book devotes equal attention to the perspectives of both sides. With nearly 400 photos, numerous maps, and 32 superb color profiles of combat vehicles and aircraft, it provides perhaps the most comprehensive look at the battle yet published."

Hubby's Review:
This book about the Ardennes or the battle of the bulge. The author takes a through look into entire battle from both sides and gives you details of the size of troops and the history. While some of ours were green, never been in battle the Germans had troops from the Western and Eastern fronts and some of the German troops were battle tested. Also the only American that even thought of this being a possibility was a staff member on Patton’s staff and so that is one reason why Patton already had plans for an attack in place. Another the author points out was the lack of information that was getting back to the high command. They the high command were still thinking that the officers were over reacting to troop size and to the number of Panzer tanks. Ordering troops to hold ground not to give ground or hold at all costs. With that last order being followed, many units either ran out of gas, or ammo, or both. That is one of the reasons for so many units being captured and over run. Most of the units did fight until they had no more ammo. That was one part of the story that I had never heard before. This is a through look at the entire battle not just Bastogne which everyone talks about. For their other troops surrounded and 11 African American soldiers from 333rd artillery unit that was executed by the s/s troops. Once Gen. Gavin, activated the 82nd and 101st and then Patton’s now supplied they had to retake what was lost, hold Bastogne and the 82nd to the north had to stop the Germans from the Allied fuel depot. Those along with the Germans running out of gas and the clouds lifting were their down fall. A good book in seeing both sides of the battle and the mistakes that were made and advantages that each side took when they could. A lot of information from both sides well researched. Really liked this book. I got this book from net galley.  I give this 5 stars.

THE PERFECT HOMECOMING

THE PERFECT HOMECOMING             JULIA LONDON
Posted:  March 7, 2015

The Perfect Homecoming (Pine River, #3)Emma Tyler’s cool exterior and penchant for sarcasm keep most people from getting too close…and an unusual compulsion drives her to steal from the few men who do. When her trophy-collecting habit goes too far, she quits her ritzy event-planning job in Los Angeles and runs away to Pine River, hiding with her estranged half-sisters at Homecoming Ranch and caring for Leo Kendrick, her ailing friend.

Thrillseekers Anonymous founder Cooper Jessup has his hands full with work and his brother’s looming prison release date. But when a client asks him to track down Emma Tyler to retrieve a stolen memento, Cooper can’t turn down the money…or the chance to see the beautiful Emma again.

When Cooper comes to collect the item, Emma refuses to admit the horrible truth. This handsome man may see right through her steely veneer, but can he get close enough to show her how love and honesty can heal a troubled heart?

HUBBY'S REVIEW:
This is the third book in the Homecoming Ranch. Emmy, has come home to the ranch but not for the reasons her two sisters think. They are planning the wedding for Madeline and at the same time a stranger arrives looking for Emmy. He finds her and at the same time becomes friends with some people around town and some people she does not want him to be friends with. She wants him to go back to L.A. but he is not leaving until he gets from her what he came for. But he gets more than he bargains for when they fall in love with each other but don’t know how to make it work. You still get Leo telling part of the story. One thing missing is not as many town people as in the last book. To me their seemed liked there were more characters but this was a very moving story especially the last half of the book. I do hope the author is going to write another one because there were a couple of things brought up but were never mentioned again, like Libby being pregnant. It seemed also that the three sisters were finally bonding and that was a good thing. A good book. I got this book from net galley.  I give this 4 stars.

RETURN TO HOMECOMING RANCH

RETURN TO HOMECOMING RANCH        JULIA LONDON
Posted:  March 7, 2015

Return to Homecoming Ranch (Pine River, #2)Curly-haired Libby Tyler never stops smiling…until her beloved boyfriend suddenly forces her out of their home and away from his adoring kids. When she learns he dumped her for his flighty ex-wife, Libby’s sadness turns to fury—and she very publicly smashes his truck with a golf club, earning herself a trip to a mental health center for some “rest.”

Handsome, hazel-eyed deputy Sam Winters has been sober for two years. Afraid of backsliding, he lives in the mountains and keeps his distance from people. Yet he never forgot Libby, his former colleague at the sheriff’s office whose charm and cheerfulness always warmed his days.

Now Libby’s back, ignoring the townspeople’s whispers (and her ex’s restraining order) while desperately trying to make Homecoming Ranch a successful event destination. She keeps causing trouble for Sam, but he finds her smile more beautiful than ever…and his touch gives her thrills she’s never felt. Could these two lost souls mend each other’s broken hearts?
 

HUBBY'S REVIEW:
Homecoming Ranch is the second book in a three book series so far. The story deals with the sister Libby. Back ground is three sisters inherit a ranch from their father that they barely knew or knew at all in the case of Madeline. Libby has gotten out of a mental hospital after a week’s stay when she took a golf club to her ex-boyfriends truck and broke all of his windows. Her mother thought it would be better for her to be in a hospital because she did not have time to watch her. What set her off was that his wife came back and apparently had been back for a while and they were getting back together. She had moved away in order to get become a dental hygienist. The problem was for the few years she was gone Libby became attached to the two children and thought they were in a relationship. So when the wife comes back the husband now tells her they are through and then gets a restraining order. Libby is over coming this attachment to the children and trying to make the ranch work with one of her sisters Madeline. The third sister Emmy, does not want anything to do with the ranch and stays in L.A. Meanwhile the sheriff is spending more time with Libby. There is also another story with a guy named Leo who has MND and they are trying to raise money for a new fan for him. I liked all of the characters and the battering of Leo. My only problem was how all the women in the story were bashing on Libby, who was actually taking care of someone else’s children who left for a couple of years and yet she is the bad person. That part of the story I did not get and the wife taking back her husband knowing that he was with this other women and yet again Libby is the bad person for breaking his windows. I just did not get it, especially when this book is written by a women. But overall the book was good. I got this book from net galley.

JOE BLACK: MORE THAN A DODGER

JOE BLACK: MORE THAN A DODGER        BLACK & SCHOFFNER
Posted:  March 7, 2015

Joe Black: More than a DodgerHe was told that the color of his skin would keep him out of the big leagues, but Joe Black worked his way up through the Negro Leagues and the Cuban Winter League. He burst into the Majors in 1952 when he signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers. In the face of segregation, verbal harassment, and even death threats, Joe Black rose to the top of his game; he earned National League Rookie of the Year and became the first African American pitcher to win a World Series game. With the same tenacity he showed in his baseball career, Black became the first African American vice president of a transportation corporation when he went to work for Greyhound. In this first-ever biography of Joe Black, his daughter Martha Jo Black tells the story not only of a baseball great who broke through the color line, but also of the father she knew and loved.

HUBBY'S REVIEW:
The story of Joe Black was a very well written book and you could tell that his daughter put a lot of thought into it by her own little story or added did bits at the end of each chapter. If you don’t know Joe Black was a pitcher for the Brooklyn Dodgers stating in 1952, that year he won the National League Rookie of the year, winning 15 games, saving fifteen games, with an ERA of 2.15, in 142 innings. He won the first game of the 52 World Series becoming the first African American pitcher to win a game in the World Series it was also a complete game. He would pitch two more times losing 2-0 and 4-2, in a seven day span he pitched three games. In 1953 the Manager of the Dodgers Dressen, wanted him to change his pitching motion and to come up with a new pitch as well. Neither of these worked and some felt that it actually hurt Joes arm. Joe having pitched in the Negro Leagues forgot what some of the old time ball players told him and that was don’t allow a coach to change the way you pitch. In 55 he was traded to the Reds and by 57 he was out of baseball. Fortunately he had gotten a scholarship to play football at Morgan state, and though he left school after his sophomore year to play baseball he continued to go back to finish his degree that he promised his mother. Because of that degree he became a teacher for 6 years and then by a chance meeting ending up becoming an executive for Greyhound bus in Phoenix. Started many community programs and programs in the company itself. He remained in baseball starting and being on the board of directors of Baseball Assistance Team. He then was hired when the Arizona Diamondbacks started in the league. There are stories of his times in Cuba and also traveling in the Negro League, and what it was like seeing those players and the stories they had. His first roommate with the Dodgers was Jackie Robinson, and how that became a lifelong friendship along with many other people. His life was more than baseball but at the same time it came back to the game. You can also tell from the book how he was part of his children’s lives and when he was older and his daughter was born fought for custody and won, which did not happen that much in the 70’s for any man let alone a black man. I found that I was more touched by his actions off the field than on and though being a fan I did not know all of the things he did. A very good book. I got this book from net galley.  I give this 4 Stars.

FALL AWAY

FALL AWAY                                          ZOE YORK
Posted:  March 7, 2015

Fall Away by Zoe YorkNothing is more awkward than waking up next to a woman whose name you can’t remember... 

Navy SEAL Trick Novak knows he needs to find a better way to deal with his chronic insomnia, but a warm body and a ready smile work just fine. Until he meets Gaby Ellis, and discovers she's roommates with last night's hook-up--and thoroughly disgusted with his player ways. 

Except maybe falling in love with one who'd rather not know yours.

MY REVIEW:
He’d seen her across the bar but he was celebrating with his current team members.  You see Trick (Patrick) Novak is a Navy SEAL.  He and the guys were at the bar having drinks for Dumbrowski’s 27th birthday and a successful mission that they had just completed.  So, he had no time to waste unwinding and once he had loosened up she was gone.  Women was not his problem anyway it was the loosening up.  He had high blood pressure and he was having trouble sleeping so he was not fit at this time to go on the missions he normally went on with his usual team for the long term missions.  Something that he was working on. 
     Unfortunately, the morning after always comes and Trick was once again (thank goodness for him only a few times) waking up in a strange bed with a woman he could not even remember her name.  If it weren’t for her phone alarm going off and her having no password on her phone he wouldn’t even have it now.  But when she hit snooze again he reached over when she went back to sleep and was able to extract it from her and hit her Facebook app and see what her name was, first and last.
     When Lily Jovan’s alarm goes off for the third time her eyes spring open and she starts moving to get ready for work.  She tells him no rush and that there is coffee in the kitchen.  But that pants much be on before walking around the house since she has a roommate.  She showers and leaves.  Once he dresses he goes looking for his boots where he thought he left them, vaguely. 
     Only when they weren’t there a voice says where she had put them after she had tripped over them earlier that morning.  When he turns around it’s her!  He starts like flirting with her.  So Gaby Ellis is like “EW!”  He explains what he can about seeing her the night before at the bar and she just looks at him and then says sorry that it wasn’t her.  She lies, really and walks away.  But, he tells her what she was wearing and she but she just says no.  But it was her.  She just doesn’t like the instant sexual attraction.  There was this thing with him just coming out of her roommate’s bedroom.  Nothing but just that!  She tells him to let himself out.  She encounters him 2 more times since that night and the sexual tension is getting stronger each time.  Can Trick get her to change her mind?  You will be surprised who changes their mind.
     I really enjoyed this book.  Gaby without trying had a way of tearing down all of Trick’s walls.  She made him a better man.  He gave her a sense of self and of her true beauty she never knew she had within.  I give this 5 stars.  Provided by Net Galley.  Follow us at:  www.1rad-readerreviews.com

ONE MORE MINUTE WITH YOU

ONE MORE MINUTE WITH YOU            SIERRA HILL
Posted:  March 7, 2015

One More Minute with You by Sierra HillSeattle is in the rearview mirror and Kenzie Daniels wants to start a new life to pursue her musical dreams in Nashville. But it’s harder than she thought trying to make it on her own with no one to rely on but herself. Until a handsome customer shows up at her table and changes the course of her future.

Remy Martins wasn’t looking for anything but a good time and a creative outlet when he stumbled upon Hank’s Diner and discovered his muse. The moment he laid eyes on Kenzie, the beautiful waitress with a chip on her shoulder, he knew his luck had turned around. He’d been in a writing slump for months and she was the spark he needed, breathing new life into his lyrics. Now Remy is determined to have Kenzie and keep her in his life.

When a chance run-in at one of his gigs has Kenzie leaning on him for support, Remy is given the opportunity to make her an offer she'd be a fool to refuse.

Just as their relationship morphs into something more, fueling a deep physical need that neither of them can deny, Kenzie’s and Remy’s pasts collide - threatening to destroy their bond along the dreams they’d hoped to fulfill.

Can Kenzie rely on Remy to be there when she needs him the most? Will both their dark pasts ruin their chances at a bright future?
 

MY REVIEW:
     When you have two people who have been bruised deeply by those they loved and thought loved them.  Where do you go from there?  Here you have newly graduated Kenzie Daniels who was raised by her loving grandmother and father always knowing that her daddy loved her.  Or at least that’s what she thought.  Until she really needed him.
     You see Kenzie was coming out of a horrible relationship one that made her fear for her life.  Yet, when she tells her father he tries to make her believe it’s all her imagination and that it was just a onetime deal and no need to bring in the police because it was all in her head.  That’s when she leaves Seattle and heads to Nashville to pursue her dream of being a song writer and singer.
     She buys a clunker, finds a place to live, and gets a job as a waitress where she is getting close to the point where she can’t keep her head above water.  When a sexy as all sin of a man sat at her station.  Donita, her 40ish co-worker, single, and ready to tap anything male as she tells it.  She tells Kenzie she has a “Hot One” at her station.  When she gets to the table she can tell by the guy’s clothes and his mannerisms that he is a musician.  In which case she needs to stay far away.  They are all just the love’m and leave’m kinda guys.
     Sure enough the guy in the booth is a singer, Remy Martins, song writer, singer, and recording engineer.  To her he looks a little like he’d been rode hard and put away wet.  Which was kind of true since the band he is working with in the studio is more like babysitting.  Then when they finally leave he can work on his own things into the early morning.
     That was the thing though he had lost his muse and his ex all at one time.  Which means like most wrote about their hurt heart not him his were about his love or what he thought love was.  Then 2 days ago he happens into the diner and falls in lust over the cutest “Pixie” he ever saw.  By the third morning Remy got brace and spoke asking if they made Latte’s.  She laughed and said, yes.  He asked for a triple.  She asked if he wanted the regular for breakfast.  He then realized she’d been paying attention to him too.  He overheard Donita and Kenzie talking a day earlier saying she needed a place to stay better than where she was.  Remy comes up with an offer she can’t refuse.
     I really enjoyed this story.  It had all the elements that you want in a story at least for me.  It had boy meets girl, suspense, erotica, humor, fear, and pain.  All you could want in a story line and so much more.  Really two family sagas in one.  I give this 4 Stars.  Provided by Net Galley.

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ARTIFICIAL SWEETHEARTS (North Pole, Minnesota #2)

ARTIFICIAL SWEETHEARTS               JULIE HAMMERLE It’s not chemistry between Tinka Foster and Sam Anderson that made them agree to a f...