Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Looking For A Good Book To Read This Weekend? Try One Of These Great Titles



The Doctor and the Diva by Adrienne McDonnell

It is 1903, and Erika von Kessler has struggled for years to become pregnant. Resigned to childlessness, Erika-a talented opera singer and the wife of a prominent Bostonian-secretly plans to move to Italy to pursue her musical career. When the charismatic Doctor Ravell takes Erika on as a patient, he is mesmerized by her. Impetuously, he takes a shocking risk that could ruin them both.

Inspired by the author's family history, the novel moves from snowy Boston to the gilded balconies of Florence in a stunning tale of opera, longing, and the indomitable power of romantic obsession.

 
The River Kings’ Road by Liane Merciel

A fragile period of peace between the eternally warring kingdoms of Oakharn and Langmyr is shattered when a surprise massacre fueled by bloodmagic ravages the Langmyrne border village of Willowfield, killing its inhabitants--including a visiting Oakharne lord and his family--and leaving behind a scene so grisly that even the carrion eaters avoid its desecrated earth. But the dead lord's infant heir has survived the carnage--a discovery that entwines the destinies of Brys Tarnell, a mercenary who rescues the helpless and ailing babe, and who enlists a Langmyr peasant, a young mother herself, to nourish and nurture the child of her enemies as they travel a dark, perilous road . 

Odosse, the peasant woman whose only weapons are wit, courage, and her fierce maternal love--and who risks everything she holds dear to protect her new charge . . . Sir Kelland, a divinely blessed Knight of the Sun, called upon to unmask the architects behind the slaughter and avert war between ancestral enemies . . . Bitharn, Kelland's companion on his journey, who conceals her lifelong love for the Knight behind her flawless archery skills--and whose feelings may ultimately be Kelland's undoing . 

Leferic, an Oakharne Lord's bitter youngest son, whose dark ambitions fuel the most horrific acts of violence. As one infant's life hangs in the balance, so too does the fate of thousands, while deep in the forest, a Maimed Witch practices an evil bloodmagic that could doom them all.  
 
Istanbul Passage by Joseph Kanon

A neutral capital straddling Europe and Asia, Istanbul survived the Second World War as a magnet for refugees and spies, trafficking in secrets and lies rather than soldiers. Expatriate American businessman Leon Bauer was drawn into this shadow world, doing undercover odd jobs and courier runs in support of the Allied war effort.

Now, as the espionage community begins to pack up and an apprehensive city prepares for the grim realities of postwar life, Leon is given one last routine assignment. But when the job goes fatally wrong—an exchange of gunfire, a body left in the street, a potential war criminal on his hands—Leon is plunged into a tangle of intrigue, shifting loyalties, and moral uncertainty.

Played out against the bazaars and mosques and faded mansions of this knowing, ancient Ottoman city, Leon’s conflicted attempt to save one life leads to a desperate manhunt that ultimately threatens his own survival. How do you do the right thing when there are only bad choices to be made?


Overbite by Meg Cabot

Meena Harper has a special gift, but it's only now that anyone's ever appreciated it. The Palatine Guard — a powerful secret demon-hunting unit of the Vatican — has hired her to work at their new branch in Lower Manhattan. With Meena's ability to predict how everyone she meets will die, the Palatine finally has a chance against the undead.

Sure, her ex-boyfriend was Lucien Antonescu, son of Dracula, the prince of darkness. But that was before he (and their relationship) went up in flames. Now Meena's sworn off vampires for good ... at least until she can prove her theory that just because they've lost their souls doesn't mean demons have lost the ability to love.

Meena knows convincing her co-workers — including her partner, ├╝ber-demon-hunter Alaric Wulf — that vampires can be redeemed won't be easy ... especially when a deadly new threat seems to be endangering not just lives of the Palatine, but Meena's friends and family as well.

But Meena isn't the Palatine's only hope. Father Henrique — aka Padre Caliente — New York City's youngest, most charming priest, has also been assigned to the case.

So why doesn't Meena — or Alaric — trust him?

As she begins unraveling the truth, Meena finds her loyalties tested, her true feelings laid bare ... and temptations she never even imagined existed, but finds impossible to resist.

This time, Meena may finally have bitten off more than she can chew.

 
The Variations by John Donatich

A powerful debut novel about a priest who has lost his church, his mentor, and, most upsetting, his ability to pray. How can Father Dominic protect or guide his parish when everything he loves falls away? How can he counsel Dolores, a troubled teenager prone to emotional panic and spiritual monomania? Or James, a promising African American pianist, struggling to realize his artistic ambitions by bringing his own voice to a piece that has been played by the world's most brilliant pianists, Bach's Goldberg Variations.

Into this malaise comes Andrea, a sophisticated New York editor attracted at first by Dom's blog and then by the man himself. Dom's journey from the cloth into the secular world will offer carnal knowledge, but also something deeper, a more resistant knowledge as life fails to offer happiness or redemption. In prose both searching and muscular, John Donatich's The Variations has located the right metaphor for our spiritual crisis in this story of one man's spiritual disillusion and ache for self-knowledge.


Guilty Wives by James Patterson

No husbands allowed!

Only minutes after Abbie Elliot and her three best friends step off of a private helicopter, they enter the most luxurious, sumptuous, sensually pampering hotel they have ever been to. Their lavish presidential suite overlooks Monte Carlo, and they surrender: to the sun and pool, to the sashimi and sake, to the Bruno Paillard champagne. For four days they're free to live someone else's life. As the weekend moves into pulsating discos, high-stakes casinos, and beyond, Abbie is transported to the greatest pleasure and release she has ever known.

What happened last night?

In the morning's harsh light, Abbie awakens on a yacht, surrounded by police. Something awful has happened—something impossible, unthinkable. Abbie, Winnie, Serena, and Bryah are arrested and accused of the foulest crime imaginable. And now the vacation of a lifetime becomes the fight of a lifetime & for survival.

Phantom by Ted Bell

Counterspy Alex Hawke must catch a villainous megalomaniac--a man obsessed with horrifying experiments in cyberwarfare--in this mesmerizing new espionage thriller in Ted Bell's New York Times bestselling series

The first and most bizarre event nearly becomes a monumental catastrophe when something goes awry at an American theme park, wreaking havoc on visitors looking for nothing more than a sun-splashed holiday. In a different part of the country, a USAF F-15 pilot, escorting another jet in the skies over the Midwest, inexplicably loses control of his plane, endangering the lives of several people and deeply puzzling those following his mission on the ground. Then, in the misty calm of a coastal California evening, the world's premier scientist on the subject of artificial intelligence gets a strange phone call. When he hangs up, he quietly grabs his coat and leaves for an after-dinner stroll from which he never returns.

It's up to Hawke and the brilliant former inspector Ambrose Congreve to find out what could possibly be happening. But how does one identify--and fight--an enemy one can't see, a real phantom? Even these seasoned operatives are mystified. Is there really such a thing as an ultra-intelligent machine, a cyberweapon that can shift the geopolitical balance of power?

In a hunt that takes him from Palo Alto, California, to the Russian frontier, to Cambridge University and the glistening Mediterranean aboard his newly christened and armed super-yacht Blackhawke, Alex Hawke is joined by the unstoppable Stokely Jones and his ex-CIA buddy Harry Brock as he moves closer to unmasking the scientist behind these extraordinary events, going nose-to-nose with an enemy unlike any he's fought before--and may never again.


The Cryptos Conundrum by Chase Brandon

A fifteen-foot-tall steel sculpture stands in the courtyard of the Central Intelligence Agency, emblazoned with a message that no one can decipher. The three-inch-high letters on the sculpture form a coded message that is central to the survival of mankind--a message hidden in plain sight, displayed in a public space, with the full text available to anyone who has an internet connection.

One man knows exactly what the statue's message says--because he created it.

Dr. Jonathan S. Chalmers heads a CIA unit tasked with containing the greatest secret our government has ever kept—and planning for its consequences. He alone knows the full story of the threats that face America.  Threats that would terrify us if we knew them.  Threats that have shaped our country’s past, present, and future. Threats that have become his life's work, requiring all his talents, all his energy, and even the lives of members of his family.

If Chalmers can’t save us, nobody can.

Former CIA operative Chase Brandon tells a high-intensity, cosmic tale that will leave readers breathless.

 
The Aden Effect by Claude Berube

Alpha team was gone, dead to a man. A few crewmen from Bravo team had been blown overboard. Stark reentered the pilothouse and checked the radio hoping to get out one last mayday, but the radio, like the crew, was dead.... 

Connor Stark was a pariah, a man without a country, a former naval officer whose career came to an unceremonious end after a court-martial resulted in a dishonorable discharge. At home and at peace in Scotland, he was determined to leave his past behind until murder, politics, and Middle East instability prompted his unexpected recall to active duty. 


Set against a background of modern piracy in the Gulf of Aden, the story begins as the new American ambassador to Yemen, C. J. Sumner, is assigned to negotiate access to the oil fields off the island of Socotra and enlists Stark's help countering pirates who are capturing ships at will off the Horn of Africa. Meeting with resistance to her diplomatic overtures, Sumner recruits Stark, who has become a mercenary after being dishonorably discharged, as her defense attache, because he knows the region. 

When Stark sets up a meeting with the owner of a Yemeni shipping company and the ruling .

A Possible Life by Sebastian Faulks

In Second World War Poland, a young prisoner closes his eyes and pictures going to bat on a sunlit English cricket ground.

Across the yard of a Victorian poorhouse, a man is too ashamed to acknowledge the son he gave away.

In a 19th-century French village, an old servant understands—suddenly and with awe—the meaning of the Bible story her master is reading to her.

On a summer evening in the Catskills in 1971, a skinny girl steps out of a Chevy with a guitar and with a song that will send shivers through her listeners' skulls.

A few years from now, in Italy, a gifted scientist discovers links between time and the human brain and between her lover's novel and his life.

Throughout the five masterpieces of fiction that make up A Possible Life, exquisitely drawn and unforgettable characters risk their bodies, hearts and minds in pursuit of the manna of human connection. Between soldier and lover, parent and child, servant and master, and artist and muse, important pleasures and pains are born of love, separations and missed opportunities. These interactions—whether successful or not—also affect the long trajectories of characters' lives.

Provocative and profound, Sebastian Faulks's dazzling new novel journeys across continents and centuries not only to entertain with superb old-fashioned storytelling but to show that occasions of understanding between humans are the one thing that defines us—and that those moments, however fluid, are the one thing that endures.


Wicked City by Alaya Johnson

In Wicked City, the page-turning follow up to Moonshine, it’s summer in the city and most vampires are drunk on the blood-based intoxicant Faust. The mayor has tied his political fortunes to legalizing the brew, but Zephyr Hollis has dedicated herself to the cause of Faust prohibition--at least when she isn’t knocking back sidecars in speakeasies.

But the game changes when dozens of vampires end up in the city morgue after drinking Faust. Are they succumbing to natural causes, or have they been deliberately poisoned? When an anonymous tip convinces the police of her guilt, Zephyr has to save her reputation, her freedom and possibly her life. Someone is after her blood--and this time it isn’t a vampire.

In a New York City populated by flappers and vampires, debutantes and djinn, it's best to watch your back. You never know what's lurking in the shadows.


The Trapeze Artist by Will Davis

A man will endlessly torture his muscles until they shriek and complain. But he will not give in. He will take a hammer to his ceiling until the neighbours begin to watch from the window and the journalists knock at the door. He will continue to train and hack away at the house until it is finished and the trapeze is in place.

Although his parents thought he was nice and kind-hearted and teachers saw him as a good boy, secretly he hated his drab, ordered world and longed for more. Then, when he was fourteen, a new boy arrived at his school. Edward exuded the coolness of a latter-day Oscar Wilde. Edward listened to Patti Smith, watched Fassbinder films and knew the writings of Gore Vidal, and one evening, would kiss him in the moonlight.

Forty years old and fleeing from a life he can no longer handle, he stumbles upon the circus. Not knowing why, only that he must, he gets in his car and follows after it, refusing to listen to the doubts that plague him, determined to build a new home and family.