Government drone by day and book lover and geek girl by night!
So far I have started reading about her early life. I have said a thousand times at this point, but I so admire so many African American men and women who came up prior to the Civil Rights Act. I don't know how they endured what they did. To have so much hate thrown at you on a daily basis. Mrs. King is going into how her home was burned down by white supremacists as a little girl, and because of her family's race, there was nothing they could do.
If I had been feeling better yesterday and this morning I would have been rage updating all freaking day at Booklikes and Goodreads. This book has ticked me off in so many ways that it's going to have to be a spoiler review because otherwise you won't get why this whole book irked me and was even called a romance. Too bad it wasn't in the New Adult genre so I could at least blame something else on that genre.
"Roman Crazy" starts off with Avery Bardot walking in on her husband (Daniel) having sex with his secretary. She thought they were happy all these years (not really, we will get to that in a second) and can't believe she's expected to just ignore what he did in order to get jewelry (per her mother in law). So after having her best friend Daisy on mute during this whole insane conversation, Daisy tells Avery to come to her in Rome and get away from the craziness that is Daniel and Boston at the moment. So far so good right? I liked the beginning and liked Daisy. I stupidly thought the book was going to be differing first person POVs from both Avery and Daisy. Oh, how I wish.
Instead Avery arrives in Rome and is whisked out to meet Daisy's coworkers and comes across a man named Marcello. See several years ago when Avery was abroad studying, she had a crazy hot affair with Marcello. Problem was that Avery was dating Daniel at the time so she was still keeping in touch with him while doing hot and heavy things with Marcello.
So I told myself at this point okay, maybe it will get better. I am not a fan of cheating, but maybe this can get cleaned up a bit. No dear friends, it gets worse.
We find out that Avery returned to Boston to break things off with Daniel, but you know, felt comfortable with him again, had sex with him, got pregnant and then promptly ghosted the hell out of Marcello. Daniel proposed, they got married, and they lost their child. I maybe rolled my eyes a million times at this. This all is apparently supposed to be used as reasons why Daniel and Avery were not really meant to be with each other instead of reasons why they both should have saw a damn counselor.
Anyway, tra la la, Avery is back in Italy with Marcello and these two fools start dating. And Avery never tells him that she's technically still married and anything that really went down years ago.
So you are reading this book in disbelief at times because I think Clayton thinks we are supposed to be rooting for these two when all I can see is trouble ahead. And trouble we get.
Of course eventually Daniel shows up and everything is resolved in like 5 seconds there. But, what you don't know is that a woman that Avery saw Marcello with the night they re-met was seeing him the whole time and Marcello has been sleeping with both of them. When Avery finds out to confront him, he calls her a hypocrite due to what she did to him years ago with sleeping with him and still dating Daniel.
I HATE THEM BOTH.
And then Avery runs to Daisy who has the nerve to act like Avery is in the wrong here. I wanted Daisy to tell her that you both are too immature to even date each other and leave each other alone. Nope, Avery goes and apologies and they have some sex and then tra la la, happy ending. There was some other stuff in there, but honestly I hated this book.
The characters were not well developed, and frankly I wish that Clayton had just broken this up into a dual POV with Avery and Daisy. I was wondering what Daisy's backstory was since she had left Boston behind. Was she in touch with her family (didn't sound like it). Sounded like she came into her own in the country too. Avery was one dimensional and she sucked. I had to keep reading about how she gave everything up for Daniel, but no one asked her to, she apparently did that herself after the death of their baby. I wish she had been more honest about it and maybe realized she wasn't ready to be with anyone, let alone some damn guy who was sleeping with another woman cause he didn't trust her to ghost him again.
The writing was typical Clayton, some raunch here and there. I was just bored and was wishing I could go back and re-read "Nuts" or "Cream of the Crop" again. I honestly got through this one pretty quick. Who knew rage made you read faster? Apparently it does.
The setting of Italy felt stereotypical as hell by the way. Clayton doesn't really add any depth here unfortunately. I have been to Rome and recall being kind of disappointed it wasn't all glamorous people all over. I got that when I got Milan and Florence it felt like.
The HEA ends up with Avery deciding to stay in Italy to work and Marcello giving up a great opportunity cause they are in love. I dry heaved. Mainly though cause I was still sick, but also cause this book.
Nope. A thousand nopes. Sorry. I love Italy, I love Italian men, this should have been right up my alley. But the whole book felt off. Woman goes to Italy to forget about philandering husband and runs into old love felt hokey as heck. And Clayton doesn't do hokey usually. I found myself wishing for the third book in her new series.
"You Belong to Me" starts off with a longer story and then the anthology showcases other true crime stories. I didn't think that some of them fit with the overall theme I got from the first one though which is one reason why I lowered it half a star. And then I lowered it another half star when I realized one of the stories appeared in another collection before, and some of the stories to me, in my opinion felt like filler.
"You Belong to Me" (4 stars)-This story is heartbreaking. Rule traces one man whose dream was to be a Florida highway patrol officer and his young family. At first you wonder what is going on, until you realize that the man (Tim Harris) is odd and then you realize he is very very angry. This guy gave off so many red flags I was astounded that no one saw how on the edge he was until the very end. We then transition to Lorraine Dombroski Hendricks life and you start to feel uneasy about how she was going to end up meeting Harris. I think what gets me the most about this story is how everyone ignored all that was wrong with Harris cause he was a police officer. He ends up abusing and stalking his wife while seeing another woman and it's not until his wife's brother in law (also a police officer) steps in that she can get actually get some help.
"Black Christmas" (5 stars)- This is seriously heartbreaking. A family is murdered over a misunderstanding. I just can't even get more into it than that besides don't always open your door to deliverymen.
"One Trick Pony" (3 stars)-I swear I read this story in another Rule anthology because I had it down cold from beginning to end. That's the main reason why I gave it 3 stars. I hate it when authors do this.
"The Computer Error and the Killer" (5 stars)-Once again this was heartbreaking. Because of one computer error a man who had no business being allowed out in the public after being found criminally insane. I just shake at the things that used to go down in the 1960s and the 1970s. I hope things have gotten better with tracking people. I hope.
"The Vanishing" (3 stars)- This case was a bust. You find out what happened, which made me wonder why Rule even included it in this collection.
"The Last Letter" (4 stars)-This whole true crime was just sad from beginning to end. One woman who put her life on hold for a guy who wasn't worth it, who in the end goes and kills her rather than have her find out how worthless he really was in the end.
I remember watching the Lifetime movie for this when I was a kid and becoming quite fascinated with Clancy Brown's voice. At the time I didn't realize that the movie was based on a true story. "If You Really Loved Me" by Ann Rule shows how David Brown was able to manipulate his 14 year old daughter (Cinnamon) and his wife's teenage sister (Patti) in a plot that would ultimately end in Linda Brown's death.
I think what gets me most about true crime books is that you have to wonder sometimes how can people be this awful to another person and you shake your head at the evidence that comes out via the investigators, forensics, and witnesses.
I think the thing that gets me the most is that I thought that David Brown was very much a predator of children and it's terrible that was glossed over in a way by a lot of people that should have had some warning signs going off when a 20 year old guy was hanging out with pre-teens. I just can't imagine something going on like that today and one one saying a word.
I have read Ann Rule's books before so they can get formulaic after a while. She tends to start with the crime for the most part and then jumps back to victim and murders beginnings. She adds in details from witnesses she talked to or even from the court cases she has sat in and gleaned from testimony. Then shes does this all over again with the police and those in the prosecution office and sometimes with the defense. Sometimes some of the detail tends to overwhelm you if you don't know exactly what she is talking about, but I found that she tries to break her writing down so a layman can follow.
What made this book so fascinating and what I can't recall if they showed in the Lifetime tv movie was that when David Brown gets sent to jail and is held for bail he digs his hole even deeper. You have to wonder about this man's intelligence when you read about what his plans were for getting out of the trouble he was in.
She apparently updated this book at some point, cause there were several "endings" so to speak where she explains what happened to David Brown, Cinnamon Brown, Patti Bailey, and other people we are introduced to in this book.
I don't have anything clever to say. I honestly thought this was an okay book to pass the time with. I wasn't feeling well and didn't have a lot of mental energy to get myself worked up over reading something and this book fit the bill nicely. Was it exciting? Not really. Can I recall everyone's names? Nope. Did everything make sense? No, no it didn't. But I still enjoyed it because it was like being rocked to sleep in a hammock.
I read Kearsley years ago and fell in love with the time travel aspect of that book. This book has ghosts, kind of sort of, and flashbacks that didn't really add one thing to the book.
Celia Sands goes to Italy to star in a play that another woman with her same name was to star in, in the 1920s. Unfortunately, that Celia Sands disappeared, never to be seen again, and the play was haunted for years with unfortunate circumstances.
No, not that play.
Ceila goes to Venice, Italy with her godfather(?) who is going to be directing. I don't know. I am still puzzled by that relationship. Celia gets to Venice and after a few rough minutes of not liking the city, instantly falls in love with it. She and her godfather also meet another person who will be involved with the play and then all of them eventually make their way to a villa where the initial playwright lived and wrote his play for the first Celia.
The synopsis drew me in at first. But honestly the book just goes from scene to scene with no sense of urgency at all. Celia is pulled between two men. She tries to deny her interest in one of them. She grows closer to an older actress that is also going to be in the play, etc.
The character of Celia (present day) doesn't draw you in at all and neither does the Celia we get in flashback form via another character. I wish that Kearsley had given that Celia her own POV since that would have maybe worked a bit better. I was wondering who this woman was that she gave up everything to be with a malcontent older man who was not free to be with her. When we finally find out what happened to past Celia I seriously went, well of course.
I can't really speak about the other characters since I found them all to be pleasant, but boring. There is no real intrigue though Kearsley throws in a random murder. You can tell the good guys from the bad guys pretty easily. I think she thought she could throw readers a bit, but this is not my first romance.
Besides the first part of the book with Celia in Venice, nothing else felt very Italian. In fact, a few times I found myself wondering if was reading one of my art histories books. The text really didn't match what I think Kearsley was going for at all.
I found myself pretty much yawning when we get to the end that didn't really explain a lot of things. I really wish that Kearsley had upped the supernatural elements or nixed them entirely. I didn't know what this book wanted to be.
Apologies, I am still recovering from being sick and all I feel right now is ire towards this book. The book totally muffs the ending and that lost all of my goodwill towards it at that point. Question for you ladies? Would you go out to eat with your stalker even if he somehow saved you from being killed? Yeah, yeah, I have to say that this is actually something that occurs during this insane book. And I have to actually use spoilers, because I am too tired to talk around how problematic I found this whole thing from beginning to end.
In Deaver's third Kathryn Dance book "XO", Dance takes a mini-vacation and goes to a concert of a friend of hers, Kayleigh Towne. Kayleigh is in her 20s and is coming up the country music charts. She also has a stalker. Kayleigh who always signs her emails and pictures of her with an "xo" has a man that determines that Kayleigh is just speaking directly to him and she is in love with him. When an accident and then a murder occur around Kayleigh days before her concert, Dance gets involved and hopes she can do what is necessary in order to prevent Kayleigh from being killed.
I have been reading this series and I can count now only in one book where we really truly get to see Dance use her body language skills from beginning to end. She doesn't really use them here, and I have to say that Dance for being so great at her job once again just ignores what's right in front of her. That's three times now she actually got lied to and played by the real bad guy. I just don't know if I have energy for a fourth book or should I cut my losses.
Dance also goes back and forth about what is going on with her relationship with a dude that does not sound attractive at all that we meet from the last book. But she's still thinking about her work colleague and then kisses him, but you know, feels torn.
It has now been three books and in all three books she is still obsessing about her work colleague Mike, whose wife has left him and their kids. At this point, if I were Mike, I would be done with her, but I have a bad feeling that some more mess will occur in the fourth book.
We get appearances by Rhyme and Sachs in this one. It didn't help. I honestly wish Deaver had shown them at Dance's home interacting with her family instead of them popping in to help her with this case.
The truly aggravating part though is that Deaver doesn't seem to know what to do with Kayleigh. We get a ridiculous reveal about her that didn't add up at all. And then even though she has been stalked by a man who shows up in town and won't leave her alone. She somehow stupidly agrees to go to lunch with the guy after the fact because he saved her (she thinks) from being murdered and going up in a fire. I mean I would be all yes thanks dude, but you still stalked me so stay the hell away. But you know, this book goes bygones. Another thing that doesn't work is that Deaver at the end has it that you think maybe though Kayleigh will finally be strong enough to break away from her bullying father who made her lie and took away so much from her, but nope. she's right back there again to deal with him.
The writing was not that tight in this one. We have Dance dealing with locals who don't want her butting in. But of course we get to see how not prepared they are to deal with the man who they identify as Kayleigh's stalker. Everything about the guy pushed my spidey sense. So when we find out in the end he was responsible for some murders and used other people to finally kidnap Kayleigh and "marry" her (ie had plans to rape her and make her love him) I was fresh out of patience for everyone involved.
And the lyrics to the songs was terrible. I was sick of re-reading them over and over again while getting through this book. Deaver tries a whole thing that Kayleigh's stalker or other people are using the lyrics to plan murders, but you don't need to keep reprinting them all through the book.
The ending was a mess and then Deaver just goes and publishes the "songs" for this book and after glancing at them quickly I just put this book aside.
Book was going okay until almost the very end. A love triangle rears its head and at this point I prefer one guy over another. I just wish that a lot of time had to been spent on it. Also the book containing lyrics was too much. At the end the book had the full version of several songs and I didn't even bother.