Malice by Lisa Jackson

The scent is unmistakable – gardenias, sweet and delicate, the same perfume that his beautiful first wife, Jennifer, always wore. Opening his eyes in the hospital room where he’s recovering from an accident, New Orleans detective Rick Bentz sees her standing in the doorway. Then Jennifer blows him a kiss and disappears. But it couldn’t have been Jennifer. She died twelve years ago...

Bentz begins to see Jennifer everywhere, haunting and taunting him, then vanishing without a trace. Could she still be alive? He’s never doubted it – until now. He can’t tell his new wife, Olivia, about the sightings or his secret fear that he’s losing his mind, even though he knows she suspects something is wrong. But Olivia is also hiding a secret...

When a copy of Jennifer’s death certificate arrives in the mail, emblazoned with a red question mark, Bentz follows the postmark trail to Los Angeles, returning to the painful memories he’s tried so hard to forget, and straight into a killer’s web. Reconnecting with his former LAPD colleagues, Bentz begins to piece together Jennifer’s last days. Then the murders begin, each victim a part of Jennifer’s past, each grisly corpse pointing to Bentz as the prime suspect.

Someone’s been waiting patiently, silently. Someone who knows exactly what happened that night twelve years ago and has been anticipating Bentz’s every move. Soon it will be Bentz’s turn to suffer for his sins. But he won’t be the only one made to pay the ultimate price. For a diabolical killer has now made Olivia the prime target...

For the most part I liked the book. I would have been happy with less of the chasing his ex-wife ghost around Los Angeles. I had no idea that Malice is the sixth book in Lisa Jackson's New Orleans series, since I haven’t read any of the other books I was able to follow along fine. The ending wrapped up fairly quickly and I was surprised who the killer was.

Thanks for visiting ~ Jovi

Your Heart Belongs to Me by Dean Koontz

At thirty-four, Internet entrepreneur Ryan Perry seemed to have the world in his pocket—until the first troubling symptoms appeared out of nowhere. Within days, he’s diagnosed with incurable cardiomyopathy and finds himself on the waiting list for a heart transplant.  Ryan is about to lose it all…his health, his girlfriend, Samantha, and his life.

One year later, Ryan has never felt better. Then the unmarked gifts begin to arrive —a heart pendant, a box of Valentine candy hearts. And, most disturbing of all, a graphic heart surgery video accompanied by a chilling message: Your heart belongs to me.  Ryan is being stalked by a mysterious woman who feels entitled to everything he has. She’s the spitting image of the twenty-eight-year-old donor of the heart beating steadily in Ryan’s own chest.  And she’s come to take it back.

I honestly don’t know why I kept reading this until the end.  It was so boring and dragged on and on.  This was my least favorite by Koontz!

Infiniti FX35

As Riley and Austin have out grown sharing the back seat with Jake, who is over 100 pounds we decided that we need a vehicle were Jake could have an area for himself. As much as Austin and Riley love Jake they couldn’t handle having him lay across them when we brought him along for rides… which is often because Jake loves going for rides.

We wanted something smaller then our F150 Super Crew and larger than the Grand Prix, a crossover, which seem to be pretty popular these days. My sister recently purchased an Infiniti G35 sedan and I was impressed with all the comforts that her vehicle had I wanted to check out what other vehicles Infiniti offered. After browsing (Nissan Murano, Lexus RK10, Ford Edge, Lincoln MKX), reading reviews, and test driving a few in the end we decided on an Infiniti FX35… boy do I LOVE it!

If you’re in Colorado Springs and you’re ever in need of an Infiniti, Saab, Land Rover, Cadillac, or Jaguar I would highly recommend Red Noland of Colorado Springs. They have wonderful customer service… best we’ve ever experienced from a dealership. I had to bring my car back Thursday to have LoJack installed, they gave me a Jaguar as a loaner… wow. The Jaguar was fun to drive, although it was a bit embarrassing being stared at while at stop lights… bringing attention to myself is not me!

Thanks for visiting ~ Jovi

Just Take My Heart by Mary Higgins Clark

Natalie Raines, one of Broadway's brightest stars, accidentally discovers who killed her former roommate, Jamie Evans, and sets in motion a series of shocking events that puts more than one life in extreme peril.  Jamie had been involved with a mysterious married man to whom she referred only by nickname. Natalie comes face to face with him years later and inadvertently addresses him by the nickname Jamie had used. A few days later, Natalie is found in her home.

Immediately the police suspect Natalie's theatrical agent and soon-to-be-ex-husband, Gregg Aldrich. But no charges are brought against him until two years later, when Jimmy Easton, a career criminal, suddenly comes forward to claim that Aldrich had tried to hire him to kill his wife. The case is a plum assignment for Emily Wallace, an attractive thirty-two-year-old assistant prosecutor. As she spends increasingly long hours preparing for the trial, a seemingly well-meaning neighbor offers to take care of her dog in her absence, unaware of his violent past she gives him a key to her home... During the trial, Emily experiences sentiments that defy all reason and continue after Gregg Aldrich's fate is decided by the jury.  In the meantime, she does not realize that her own life is now at risk.

I was a little disappointed in this book.  The courtroom trail was uninteresting and took up much of the book.

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

"Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again."
With a husband she barely knew, the young bride arrived at this immense estate, only to be inexorably drawn into the life of the first Mrs. de Winter, the beautiful Rebecca, dead but never forgotten...her suite of rooms never touched, her clothes ready to be worn, her servant -- the sinister Mrs. Danvers -- still loyal. And as an eerie presentiment of evil tightened around her heart, the second Mrs. de Winter began her search for the real fate of Rebecca...for the secrets of Manderley.

I loved this book and will read it multiple times. We never learn the name of the female narrator but it doesn't matter. Manderley itself becomes a character and dead Rebecca haunts you just as she does the other inhabitants of the house. I was swept up in the romanticism of the situation and shocked and thrilled when the "truth" about Rebecca comes out.

The Quickie by James Patterson, Michael Ledwidge

Lauren Stillwell is not your average damsel in distress. When the NYPD cop discovers her husband leaving a hotel with another woman, she decides to beat him at his own game. But her revenge goes dangerously awry, and she finds her world spiraling into a hell that becomes more terrifying by the hour. In a further twist of fate, Lauren must take on a job that threatens everything she stands for. Now, she's paralyzed by a deadly secret that could tear her life apart. With her job and marriage on the line, Lauren's desire for retribution becomes a lethal inferno as she fights to save her livelihood--and her life. Patterson takes us on a twisting roller-coaster ride of thrills in his most gripping novel yet. This story of love, lust and dangerous secrets will have readers' hearts pounding to the very last page.

This is another book that was recommended by my sister. This is a crazy book and I would have never guessed the ending! There were so many twists and turns, it was completely unpredictable what would happen next. I recommend to all - it’s got some lust, lots of lies, and murder! It keeps you guessing and is a very quick read.

February & March Reads

I was hoping to get this posted at the end of March, but my overnight stay in the hospital got in the way. I’m okay now, after a bunch of blood work, three EKG’s, a CT Scan, numerous X-rays and a Stress Test the doctors couldn’t determine what was causing the severe pain I was having in my neck, shoulders, arms and numbness in my hands. Since my heart is healthy (I knew the elliptical had to be good for me), I have no blood clots, my vertebra was normal… except for the small amount of calcium deposit on my neck, the doctor suspects it may be neurological. I have an appointment set up to see my family doctor in the next few weeks… we’ll see how it goes! Okay enough about me…

I’ve decide to start listing the books I’ve read here… starting this year for 2009, at the end of each month I’ll post what I read for that month. I’m not going to post book reviews, maybe one or two sentences about what I thought of the book. I will also provide the books description that I grab from Good Reads or from Amazon.

At the beginning of this year I’ve challenged myself to read outside my usual genre, true crime. My year in reading started out with the Twilight Series, reading through all four books twice in January. February came along and I was back to reading true crime books once again. Okay, I had to read them since my mom gave them to me! My February reads were Mortal Danger by Ann Rule and An Invisible Man by Stephanie A. Stanley.

This month I only read two books as well. The Reader by Bernhard Schlink and Persuasion by Jane Austen. I really enjoyed The Reader, definitely a grabber... I couldn’t put it down. It’s a fairly short book (224 pgs) and I had it finished in an afternoon. Onto Persuasion… that was different. This is the first Jane Austen book that I read and I think I’m going to wait a bit before I read another one. It took me forever to get into this book (at the time it seemed like forever), by the fifth chapter I started to enjoy it because it is a beautiful story and I’m happy I finished it.

Mortal Danger by Ann Rule
Featured here is the case of a Southern California family man who appeared to be the picture of healthy living with his expertise in naturopathic healing. Luring a beautiful flight attendant into a passionate affair, he swept her away to a secluded home on the Oregon coast where his jealous rages escalated, ultimately leading to a brutal sex attack in which she believed she would die. How this brave victim survived, never knowing her tormentor's whereabouts, and how he resurfaced, forcing a tragic end for all involved, makes this one of Ann Rule's most compelling narratives… more

An Invisible Man by Stephanie A. Stanley
In the summer of 2002, a serial killer prowled the streets of Baton Rouge, preying on the city's best and brightest women. The authorities had a profile of their suspect. They were wrong. This is the shocking true story of the investigation that went awry--and the good old-fashioned police work that solved the case.

The Reader – By Bernhard Schlink

Hailed for its coiled eroticism and the moral claims it makes upon the reader, this mesmerizing novel is a story of love and secrets, horror and compassion, unfolding against the haunted landscape of postwar Germany. When he falls ill on his way home from school, fifteen-year-old Michael Berg is rescued by Hanna, a woman twice his age. In time she becomes his lover--then she inexplicably disappears. When Michael next sees her, he is a young law student, and she is on trial for a hideous crime. As he watches her refuse to defend her innocence, Michael gradually realizes that Hanna may be guarding a secret she considers more shameful than murder.

Persuasion - Jane Austen
At twenty-seven, Anne Elliot is no longer young and has few romantic prospects. Eight years earlier, she had been persuaded by her friend Lady Russell to break off her engagement to Frederick Wentworth, a handsome naval captain with neither fortune nor rank. What happens when they encounter each other again is movingly told in Jane Austen's last completed novel. Set in the fashionable societies of Lyme Regis and Bath, Persuasion is a brilliant satire of vanity and pretension, but, above all, it is a love story tinged with the heartache of missed opportunities.

Thanks for visiting ~ Jovi

Intensity by Dean Koontz

A young woman staying as a guest in a Napa Valley farmhouse becomes trapped in a fight for survival with a self-proclaimed "homicidal adventurer", and races to warn his next intended victim. Unrelentingly terrifying, this book lives up to its name.

My sister recommend this book and I couldn't put it down! This novel definitely lived up to its name!  For anyone who likes a thriller, this one you have got to read.   Don't read it when you have to be up early the next day… I made the mistake starting it late at night.   It takes place over a 24 hr period with a really shocking ending.  So far this is my favorite from Koontz.

East of Eden by John Steinbeck

This sprawling and often brutal novel, set in the rich farmlands of California's Salinas Valley, follows the intertwined destinies of two families--the Trasks and the Hamiltons--whose generations helplessly reenact the fall of Adam and Eve and the poisonous rivalry of Cain and Abel.

I did not think I would enjoy this as much as I did.... It's intimidating when you see how long it is! It’s basically an epic telling of the Cain and Abel story set at the turn of the century. It has everything in it--love and hate, good and evil, joy and tragedy. The characters touch your heart and break your heart. I would recommend it, although it isn’t a light and happy read.