Zac Miller is on a business trip to Singapore when the plane makes an emergency landing in a remote part of Iran and it all gets much worse from there. He is pulled from the other passengers, roughed up and questioned by guards - why did he take pictures coming off the plane?, what agency does he work for? and others. After a daring escape into the desert Zac turns into a Tom Cruise/Jason Bourne type guy and does whatever it takes to make it back alive. He is on the run from almost every government agency with no money, no phone and no friends in some of the world's most dangerous and rough terrain. Did I mention that someone is trying to frame him for a murder as well? Ricciardi will be enjoyed by any reader who enjoys a spy thriller on an international scale.
Teddy is immediately likable because she has panache and has beaten the system at an early age. On notice with every Vegas casino and owing money, she gambles in disguise hoping for a big payout. Things start to go downhill and she is saved by a mysterious good looking man who wants to recruit her for a special spy school for psychics. She won't go back to Stamford and returning in disgrace to her aunt and uncle's house is not an option so she tries her luck at honing her psychic abilities to do good. At the school, she bonds with a group of misfits and is pretty happy until strange things begin to happen to make her question the school and what she knew of her parents. You will love the irascible Teddy and her band of merry misfits. This is a promising start to a new approach to the standard spy novel. Think of it like "The Magicians" meets "Homeland".
Esme has pretty much relied on herself her whole young life. Her dad is a hustler who worked the track and a million other schemes and her mother is a glamorous wannabe actress who will use whatever means available to get herself a casting call. Life is not easy for the family so when family friend Bugsy Siegel offers Esme's dad a piece of the action at the new hotel he is opening in the desert - off they go to Las Vegas. Esme goes from "Baby E" to a showgirl after meeting a dangerous player and soon learns that you have to play the game to win the game. She is smart, she is beautiful and she could be very powerful if she doesn't fall prey to the dangers of all that glitter and endless parties.
As fast as her rise to stardom is, the fall can be even faster. Starting with the golden age of Hollywood to the glamorous world of the early Las Vegas strip - Esme Wells is a study of a family both the one you are born with and the one you choose. She compares her relationships to that of her parents all the while looking for love and acceptance she didn't find at home.
Casey, formally an English major, has now joined the big leagues working for an ad agency. She has given up dreams of perfectly formed sentences to go after authors and match them up with corporate accounts that they will sponsor. She is blown away by the perks - travel, a huge expense account and the joy of meeting (and recruiting) some of her author crushes. It all seems too good to be true because it is. She seems very naive about the way the advertising business is so cut throat and expects everyone to play fair. Some of the advice that she is given from friends, co-workers or authors seems to set up the next disaster to befall her. She doesn't know what she expects or wants from this life but it begins to alienate her from her boyfriend & best friend. Casey begins to understand that she might not be able to handle this kind of success, this kind of life.
Maggie, Noah and Caleb (Noah's young son) are a happy family but Maggie has never really gotten over the baby she was forced to give up years ago. Suddenly the phone rings and the baby girl is a teen who wants to live with Maggie and moves changing the quiet family of three to a busy family with a teenager overnight. Anna seems to be the daughter she always wanted and she is determined to be super mom. Then, out of nowhere, Anna starts making accusations that Noah is trying to seduce her. Why would Anna lie if there wasn't some truth to it? Fast forward to Anna dead and Noah is on trial for her murder. You think you have it all figured out because we have seen this all before but you are in for a big surprise. Perfect Scottoline - mixing heartfelt emotions with a killer mystery and a tough woman leading the charge.
Leah and her two young daughters are distraught when Robert loving husband and father, goes missing. Assuming he is off writing even though he left no note and no clue to his whereabouts, they continue to feel his absence and his presence. Leah feels in her gut that Robert is ok and has left clues for them to find him - the biggest being plane tickets to Paris. She packs up the family and leaves Wisconsin for the unknown in Paris. Days turn into weeks and a strange transformation takes place - they all want to stay. A sudden acquisition of an English bookshop, total immersion in the French language and customs and voila' - they become Parisians. The search for Robert manifests itself in subtle ways- the back of a man's head, a laugh, a message in a book and in more serious ways like the
discovery of a manuscript. The story is so touching and utterly heartbreaking at the same time. You want them to give up the search but just like they are powerless to do so you look for clues with each turn of the page. This is a book best read under grey skies, sipping a cafe au lait while wearing a silk scarf and sunglasses to hide the sudden tear. The magic of Paris is infectious as is this book.
Darling, listen closely for you, without a dowry, only have one chance to do this right and save yourself from the sad existence of being a lady's maid to a grumpy old woman. You must listen to my advice, choose your mark and work the party. How the story goes is up to you. This adult choose-your-own-love-adventure is a fun way to explore love Victorian England style. This is the most fun I have had with a book in a long while and soon you will find yourself flipping pages at a frantic pace trying to see if your intended beau will feel the same for you or if you will become the laughing stock of the ton and be forever tending to the whims of Lady Craven. Remember, your life depends on your decisions so proceed with caution and good luck.
Carol is a woman with an unusual condition - she sinks into a comatose state for days or weeks and then pops out of it as if nothing happened. The problem, other than dying frequently, is that only a handful of people know and that number has just been reduced. When Carol has another one of these episodes her husband takes advantage of the situation, grabs the inheritance and has her declared dead- for good. Dwight will do whatever it takes, including scaring off the maid and putting a contract out on his wife's old flame who is the only other person who knows about the condition. Unless the authorities can trip up Dwight in his haste to get rid of Carol she may be buried alive. Gothic, eerie and perfectly paced - "Unbury Carol" has just the right mix of old world horror, a bit of magic and dark Victorian setting.
Anastasia Romanov and her family died in a firing squad in 1918 after being imprisoned didn't they?
Anna Anderson is fished out of the water delirious and claiming to be the Grand Duchess Anastasia but she couldn't be could she? The story goes back and forth from the Romanov's cruel treatment after the overthrown government and then to the story of Anna who seems to go between mental hospital to live thanks to the kindness of strangers and friends who support her claim to the Romanov legacy. Anna's description of the treatment of her family is brutal and violent and instead of being relieved to have survived she seems petty and churlish with her friends and caretakers. Shocker ending and one of the best author's notes I have read in some time. Fight the urge to peek at the ending and you will be rewarded.
Charlie and his girlfriend are actors and have just broken up over something stupid. To avoid the press and to get his head together, Charlie runs away to a tropical isle only to get kidnapped. As his situation goes from bad to worse he tries to understand how he got himself into this situation and how he messed up the best thing in his life - Josie. Josie meanwhile is miserable without Charlie and begins to hang out with actor friends only to find her public life getting a little too close. This is a character story that blurs the line between actors playing a part and how well they do at playing at real life. Funny, sad and scary all in one, you will see the reality shine through the Hollywood facade.
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