Monday, December 29, 2014

Once Upon a Grind by Cleo Coyle-4 stars

Coyle, Cleo, Once Upon a Grind. 11.32 hrs. (unabr.) 1 mp3 CD. Blackstone Audion, 2014. $34.95
Manhattan, New York has fairy tale fever. During a fairy tale festival, a young girl named Anya goes missing during the festival. Clare Cosi finds her while looking for her boyfriend’s kids’ dog, but medical personnel have been unlucky waking her from her coma. With a drug-related past and being the prince charming assigned to protect Anya during the festival, Clare’s ex-husband and partner, Matteo Allegro is the police’s only suspect.  Following the breadcrumbs to an underground matchmaking club, Clare bites off more than she can chew. With time running out and all the clues pointing in her boyfriend’s ex-wife, can Clare sift through the clues before the killer comes for her?

Narrator, Rebecca Gibel has a knack for drawing readers into the story. Her excellent accents and unique voices make the characters unique personalities pop off the page. Although the dreams were a bit confusing at times, the author handled the transitions very well without losing a beat. Her narrative style was befitting of the pace of the novel and brings a feeling of authenticity to the characters and their story. Her reflections and tones conveyed the prose, emotions, and energy of the story with ease and were consistent. The audio sound was crisp, clear, and helped readers to fully immerse themselves in the tale. Although parts of the plot make it hard to suspend disbelief, the plot is well-developed and engaging.  The author’s unique insertion and twist on a bit of Cold War history to fit into the story was ingenious and showed a bit of the author’s flare and unique writing style.  Although recommended, it is not necessary to have read the other books in the series. Readers who enjoy mystery with a bit of magical realism, humor, and romance will enjoy reading this book and the others in the series.

4 stars, ADULT

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The Job by Janet Evanovich-4 stars

Evanovich, Janet and Goldberg, Lee, The Job. Random House, 2014.

When Nic Fox gets accused of pulling off a sloppy art heists around the world, Kate O'Hare of the FBI is called in to investigate. All the evidence points to Nic. Serena Blake, the person who really committed the crimes, is willing to take the heat and a plea bargain, but Nic and Kate must do something for her first: avenge her brother's violent death. After doing plastic surgery on a known criminal, Serena's brother was tortured and killed. Now, Kate and Nic are sure the criminal know as Dimitrio Violante is the one who killed Serena's brother. To get even, the two must outheist and outwit this violent criminal and his cohorts before they kill Kate and Nic, too. Will Kate and NIc succeed in pulling their most risky endeavor yet?

Kate and Nic are fun, well-developed characters to read about and readers will enjoy the dynamic between the two of them. The plot is well-developed and written, but part of the story, such as pulling off heists for the FBI, might seem a little out there for some people. Fans of Janet Evanovich, Lee Goldberg, mysteries, and supense/adventure, however, will enjoy reading this book.

4 stars, ADULT