Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Spin the Plate by Donna Anastasi

Jo is a tattoo artist by day and she roams the streets at night looking for animals or people who are in need of help. She picks up animals who have been treated cruelly and takes them home and nurses them back to health and then finds homes for them. Jo is not a people person and does her best to put people off. Francis is a speech writer for a billionaire philanthropist. He meets Jo on the train one day when she is headed for work. He watches her from afar and finally rides the same bus again. They begin a friendship of sorts that Francis would like to make more. Jo is very leery because she was sexually abused as a child by her father. One day she tells Francis what happened when they were on the way to her uncle's birthday party. Francis puts Jo in touch with an attorney and tells her she needs to make her father accountable. Francis does not flaunt his religion to Jo, he just keeps telling her that God loves her. She rejects the theory at each turn and then finally one day she accepts what Francis has told her and welcomes the Lord into her life.

This was a very good book. I was not sure at the beginning that I was going to like it. But in the end it really sends a powerful message. Loved the fact that Francis was the billionaire but let Jo think he was penniless. Jo has such a tough image and it was nice to see that she could also be soft and vulnerable. In the end she takes charge of her life by turning it over to the Lord. The cover was ok, but didn't really lend anything to the story. All in all it was a pleasant read and one that I will recommend.

Sins of a Highland Devil by Sue Ellen Welfonder

The Glen of Many Legends is in dispute. Clan McDonald holds the main part and their right is being challenged by Clan Cameron and Clan Makintosh. Each of the other Clans has sent a letter to the King and asked to be named as the owner of the prime piece of land. The King decides that there will be a battle between the three Clans to the death and the one who remains standing will guard the Glen. Catronia McDonald abhors James Cameron and he feels the same. They clashed when they were young and neither has forgotten. Now, they meet again on the eve of the battle. James can't get Catronia out of his mind and the passion she stirs in him. Catronia is having the same problem and can't believe she is drawn to her enemy. Catronia wants to goad James into doing things that he doesn't think proper. Each of them worry how the battle will end, not only on the field but between the two of them.

Loved all the description of the Highlands of Scotland. It made the reader feel like they could see the Glen in their mind's eye. The interplay between Catronia and James was funny at times, poignant at others and always sensual. The minor characters that were introduced whetted the reader's interest for the subsequent books to come. The cover was very appropriate to the story. The characters were very believable in their settings. It was a very good and fast read.

Bad Day for the Home Team by Alex O'Meara

Sam Tryor is dead. He can't remember how it happened but he knows that he is dead. He finds that he is a ghost and can follow his brother Nick, the detective in charge of his case Walter Perry and a reporter Sarah Tilly. He was sure one of them would be able to find out what happened. He learns that he was the shooter in a pizza restaurant where 40 people died, not counting him, and twenty one were wounded. Through the whole book Sam tries to find out what happened and why? He remembers growing up in Detroit and moving to Arizona. He learns that he sold double wides and owned a trailer park. He found out he was holding a couple of guns for one of his tenants because the guy was on probation. Sam did not own any guns of his own. He follows the detective, his brother and the reporter for two days and gets a new insight into himself.

This book was very different in that it was written from the shooter's point of view. I liked that through the book you learned about Sam's character. It seemed there was no way this man could commit this crime. You saw Sam through his brother's eyes and the eyes of his neighbors and then the impartial eyes of the detective on the case. You could not help liking Sam from things that were said about him, but also feel disappointed in the way he handled things in the end. The cover was very appropriate since a lot of the book took place at the restaurant. This was a very good book and I enjoyed the way it was written.