Welcome to the MOSL Book Challenge

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Big Deal by Anthony Holden

(Posted for Paul Mathews)

Life of a weekly home game poker player who was fired from his job at the newspaper.  He chose to become a professional who wanted to get to Las Vegas.  Tells of the year of tournaments entered on the world wide poker circuit and the people encountered.

Audio:  11 hrs. 47 min.
Print:  416 pages

The Heartbreaker by Carly Phillips

(Posted for Diann Stark)

The third of a trilogy:  The Chandler Boys

Chase Chandler runs the family newspaper in Yorkshire Falls, New York, since his father's death. He has looked for his “big break” headliner, and he finds it when he is asked by the senators wife to ‘watch over’ her daughter Sloane while she is visiting Chase’s hometown in exchange for a one on one interview. Sloane Carlisle comes to town after uncovering a family secret, however, there are people out there that wants to keep the secret buried in the past. 

Audio 8 hours and 41 minutes. 352 pages

The Playboy by Carly Phillips

(Posted for Diann Stark)

The second of a trilogy:  The Chandler Boys

Rick Chandler is tired of all the single women around town hitting on him and his mother nagging him to settle down and get married. He asks Kendall Sutton (a newcomer to town) to pose as his lover. She agrees, determined to tame both her personal demons and Rick's playboy ways. What starts out as a charade becomes much more than that. 

Audio 8 hours, 41 minutes. 368 pages

The Bachelor by Carly Phillips

(Posted for Diann Stark)

The first of a trilogy:  The Chandler Boys.

In Yorkshire Falls, New York, Raina Chandler feigns illness to encourage her three sons to marry and give her grandchildren. This is a story of the son Roman who is a foreign correspondent who comes home to help take care of his mom. He loses the toss to be the first one of the three boys to marry and give his mother the first grandchild. He plans to find a woman that will marry him agree to have a child and also agree that he can continue his career abroad. He falls in love again with Charlotte Bronson, his childhood sweetheart. But Charlotte doesn't want a long-distance marriage. 

Audio 8 hours, 23 minutes. 336 pages

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

"Look Away Silence" by Edward C. Patterson

This is a beautiful and funny yet heart wrenching story of Martin and Matt, two gay men in their early 20s facing AIDS.  Told in Martin's uniquely humorous voice, the reader follows their story of meeting and falling in love in New Jersey in the mid-1980s.  Matt is a transplant from Texas, a computer whiz mourning a dead lover who was beaten by homophobes.  Martin is a world weary local with a gorgeous singing voice who covers his quest for love with a snarky attitude.  Somehow they are perfect for each other; even Matt's family accepts Martin without question.  However, their happy life is shattered when Matt is diagnosed with full blown AIDS.

I really cannot describe what a good book this is.  The writing style and phrases were a bit different but really gave Martin's character depth and helped the reader better understand his motivations.  Additionally, the many and varied characters worked well to take the reader back to a time less than 30 years ago when gay men were dying in droves and no one in power was doing anything about it, especially the federal government. The scene that takes place at the first AIDS memorial quilt showing on the National Mall in 1987 was especially touching.  I found it apropos that I read this book while "The Normal Heart" debuted on HBO at the same time, because ACT UP is also mentioned in the story.  The author does a great job of describing the downward spiral the body goes through, and how tough it is for patients and caregivers to deal with.  I chuckled and cried for Matt and Martin and their friends and family. This is an unforgettable book - highly recommended.  286 pages (Kindle edition).

"From the Ashes" by Daisy Harris

Jesse, a poor college boy, suddenly finds himself homeless after a fire destroys his apartment building and his possessions.  He has no idea where he'll go as he's estranged from his family due to his sexuality.  However, one of the firemen offers him his extra bedroom until he's back on his feet.  Jesse reluctantly accepts and soon is falling for Tomas, but there's one big complication.  Tomas is in the closet, and his family lives right next door.  This was a cute and fairly predictable romance between two very different characters.  Family dogs added some shenanigans to the mix.  216 pages (Kindle edition).

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Twilight at Mac’s Place by Ross Thomas

(Posted for Paul Mathews)

There is a murder in 1974, it is covered up for more than 30 years. One person wrote his memoirs  which covered many things that happened and names. People are seeking this book and people are dying and much money is being offered. 

Audio:  1 hr. 29 min.
Print:  320 pages

Friday, May 9, 2014

Sooner or Later by Debbie Macomber

Missionary Luke Madden is being held captive in Zarcero, a country in political upheaval. His twin, Letty Madden, has exhausted traditional avenues to get him freed so resorts to  hiring mercenary Shaun Murphy to aid her in her mission to find Luke and return him to safety. Thinking to shock Letty into dropping the dangerous idea, Murphy demands the payment of "One night. You and me together, all night."  To his surprise, she agrees and the adventure begins.

I was actually disappointed in the book. To me, it read like a Harlequin rather than the gently unfolding romance  I have come to expect from this author.  If it was the first book I had read by her, it probably would also have been my last. 352 pages.