Friday, August 28, 2015

The Congregation by Desiree Bombenon

I would first like to thank Net Galley and the Publisher for making an Advance Reader Copy of this book available to me for a review.

Jake and Amanda Bannon are in for another adventure. They are at home in Canada resting after their recent adventure in Hawaii when Amanda decides that they should go to Rome. She just wants a vacation. But in Rome Cardinal Roland asks them to deliver a religious artifact to a Priest in Chicago, Father Kristofferson.

They agree and make plans to travel to Chicago, where Jake just happens to also have a couple of meetings lined up. But being the inquisitive people that they are they decide to take the Religious Relic to a local Professor who specializes in the items. Professor Orloff is special, he works part-time for the CIA as well as studying ancient history. But his analysis of the relic leads him to state there is nothing special about it and nothing old about it. That puts things in a quandary.

It turns out the "relic" is just a message for Father Kristofferson to stop what he is planning. That plan is to cause great pain and agony for the organized Catholic Church that Father Kristofferson believes has hurt more people than helped. He has sought out young people who have been hurt by the church and hurt by dysfunctional families.

This group, The Gathering has an "Inner Circle" of young people who are planning a major terrorist event across the United States. Things have been put into place to cause major destruction and bring attention to the Catholic Church and to Christ as being fake, or at least a tool for abusing power and people.

Jake, Amanda and Professor Orloff need to figure out what is happening, when it is happening and how to stop it.

The character development of the book is awesome. The different plot lines are all well developed and come together to form one major plot that is the gist of the story. You will follow the Bannon's as well as a dysfunctional Chicago family, the Priest, his special assistant and then Cardinal Roland as they all converge to a stunning conclusion.

Well written, fun to read and also sad in a way.


Monday, August 24, 2015

A Taste of Sake, by Heather Hayford

Have you ever had a book that once you started reading it you lost sense of everything else around you? All you wanted to do was keep reading? Usually that happens to me with a Police Detective / Crime Novel or Spy / Action novel. But I found that it happened with this wonderful book.

First of all I would like to thank Net Galley and the publisher for making an Advance Reader Copy of this book available to me for review. This is book four in a Series titled, "The Napa Wine Heiresses."

Sake is the youngest daughter of Xavier St. Pierre, a winery owner in the Napa Valley. The problem is that she grew up poor because her mother and Xavier had an adulterous relationship. He had three daughters with his wife, not with Sake’s mother.

But Sake’s life was not that of a rich, wealthy, socialite like her half sisters. She lived with a mother who moved often, used drugs, drank and was out of touch with reality most of the time. Sake actually went up to a year at times without knowing where her mother was.

But at the age of 22 her father found her and brought her home. How will a mixed race young woman who was raised on the tough streets of San Francisco fit in with her wealthy half siblings and a father whom she really doesn’t know that well at all.

The book is well crafted and the characters are well developed. You come to know the main characters well, learn their secrets, their mindsets and what really helps them cope with a world that is not as simple as it might first appear.

Sake will learn quickly that the rich have problems just like ‘normal’ people. She will also find that she is more welcome than she thought, but that takes time.

There is another character in the book, real estate broker, Bill Diamond. He somewhat comes to Sake’s rescue during an unfortunate accident at the wedding of Sake’s oldest half sibling. This brings Bill into Sake’s life. But Bill has his own issues. He wants to be successful, he wants to have the golden ring of success and he wants a wife to share in life with him, but a wife who fits the Napa Valley mold.

What will he do with Sake, a young woman who has quite a different flavor for language, dress and lifestyle than anyone he has ever known? Will Bill finalize a relationship with Deb, his doctor friend, or will he discover that love comes bundled in a strange package at times.

This entire book caught my attention and I couldn’t wait to get to the end. Now the only problem is I want more.


Thursday, August 20, 2015

Scents and Sensibility, by Spencer Quinn

Some people say you should never write a book from an animals point of view, but I disagree, I kind of like it. Chet the Jet is Bernie's dog and as much of a Private Investigator as Bernie is. The two form a team that is unbeatable.

In this particular novel they have come home from a visit to Washington D.C. and have found a couple of issues. One is that the safe in Bernie's house has been pried out of the wall and stolen. In that safe is his grandfathers watch, a timepiece that is priceless. Bernie goes next door and discovers that his neighbor has a new Saguaro Cactus in his front yard. Now, a Saguaro is not suppose to be dug up and moved from one location to another, that is against the law. But that isn't the main problem. Bernie wants to ask about his house and if anyone stole the key that the Parson's had to his home.

The key can't be found and it turns out that the Parsons son Billy is the most likely candidate. But before we can go there Ellie Neuberg shows up and wants to question the Parson's on where they got the Saguaro. She is the conservation officer tasked when hunting down people who steal the cactus. This one happens to have had a chip implanted in it and has informed her that it has been dug up and moved.

So, now the hunt is on, where is Billy and did he steal the safe as well as the Cactus?

Death and mayhem soon follow. Bernie and Chet the Jet are drawn into the fray. Who will win? Who will prove to be the thief? Who will prove to be the murderer? And what will happen with Bernie and Chet as they rush into danger.

The novel is well developed, well written and fun. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.