Thursday, July 26, 2012


By Chris Cleave

Just in time for the London Olympics, Gold tells the story of two Olympian cyclists. Zoe and Kate have a difficult relationship. They are best friends, yet Olympic rivals, making their lives on and off the track complicated. The story revolves around their polar opposite personalities, the choices they make, and the effects these have on their lives both on and off the track. Gold succeeds not only in its absorbing description of the drive, discipline, and ambition necessary to be an Olympian, but also because of its realistic and eye-opening account of the cost this determination has on families as the athletes pursue their dream of winning the Olympic Gold. A great read – perfectly timed for the upcoming Olympics!

~ Kathy S.

Fifty Shades of Grey, Fifty Shades Darker, and Fifty Shades Freed

By E. L. James

In the first book of this incredibly popular trilogy (more than 2200 holds in CLEVNET!), we meet Anastasia Steele, a young woman close to college graduation who is preparing to go into the field of publishing. Due to her roommate’s illness, she agrees to interview the wealthy, powerful, and attractive Christian Grey, owner of Grey Enterprises, for the school newspaper.

From the first moment, Christian is enthralled by Anastasia and must have her as his own. She quickly learns of Christian’s “alternate lifestyle” in the area of masochism and erotic “play”. Ana is faced with the decision of whether she should pursue this relationship (as one in a long line of Christian’s contracted submissives) and see where it leads, or to run in the other direction. Ana decides to continue the relationship, but defines many of her own rules. Throughout the trilogy, we witness the blossoming love between Ana and Christian as Christian battles to overcome his tortured past.

Despite all of the erotic and dominant/submissive elements and hundreds of creative usages of the “f” word, this is basically a love story. I found myself rooting for the characters to overcome their many obstacles: Christian’s early childhood trauma which leaves him mentally and physically afraid of true intimacy; his beginnings as the submissive of a much older woman (and family friend); those set on vengeance to hurt Christian; and Anastasia’s innocence and desire for true love.

I will not give away the ending, but it follows the basic formula of a love story: boy gets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl. While this is not my usual type of reading material, I thoroughly enjoyed this series.

~ Paula

Close Your Eyes

By Iris and Roy Johansen

This mother and son duo has written another tight action-paked story.

Kendra was blind at birth. She developed her other senses to extraordinary levels. When her sight was restored, she learned to notice details others often overlooked.

Because of these skills, Kendra was drawn into helping the FBI solve cases. She stopped when the emotional stress became too much. When the FBI agent she worked with disappears while working a case, Adam Lynch from the Justice Department asks for her help. The investigation gets tense, dangerous and complicated.

A wonderful thriller anyone can enjoy. Great audio book for a couple on a road trip.

~ Rochelle

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Gypped (A Regan Reilly Mystery)

By Carol Higgins Clark

Also available in audio book format.

Private investigator Regan Reilly takes a trip to Los Angeles with her husband, Jack, head of the NYPD Major Case Squad. While Jack attends meetings with the LAPD, Regan shops and sees the sites in LA. Coincidentally, she bumps into an old acquaintance, Zelda, who she has not seen in seven years since their joint appearance on the game show “Puzzling Words”. Zelda shares with Regan that she inherited 8 million dollars a year ago from a neighbor whom she barely knew.

Regan’s interest is piqued after a series of curious events begin happening to Zelda while she is spending the week in a rundown Hollywood mansion that she had won as a prize: a butcher knife is found in the woods outside the mansion; Zelda’s financial advisor gives her some tea (which makes her feel groggy) and pushes her to sign documents; her father marries a near-stranger in Vegas. Of course, Regan wraps up all of these seemingly unrelated events into a neat package and solves the mystery.

I would not recommend this book; the characters are shallow, the dialog unnatural, and the plot line is very weak. It was easy to figure out “whodunit?” early on in the book. This is the first Regan Reilly Mystery that I have read and I truly feel “Gypped”.

~ Paula