More book news, August 16, 2014

Compiled by Mary Louise Ruehr, Books Editor Published:

AUTHOR VISITS

Terry Sykes-Bradshaw will be at The Learned Owl Bookshop, 204 N. Main St. in Hudson, from 1 to 3 p.m. on Aug. 16 to sign her newest book, “Sibling Revelry,” a thriller about two sisters whose vacation goes horribly wrong. Meet the author and chat with her. Her first book, “The Awful Truth About Dead Men”, will also be available. Information: 330-653-2252.

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BOOK SALES

• The Friends of Reed Memorial Library in Ravenna will have a short sale of paperback books from 1 to 5 p.m. Aug. 22 and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 23. The sale is made up entirely of good quality paperbacks that Tom Monroe sent to the troops on a monthly basis before he passed away recently. His wife is giving the books back to the Friends to sell in his name, the money generated to be given to the library along with funds already given in his memory to the Friends.

 Tom Monroe was a longtime member of the Friends. He was especially active working in the Local History Room indexing local obituaries for the general public to use.

• The Books Are Fun Book Fair will be held from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 25, 26 and 27 in the Medical Arts Building Atrium, sponsored by the Auxiliary of Robinson Memorial Hospital in Ravenna. This sale will have many books and gifts available at low prices. Cash,checks, credit cards and payroll deduction are available. Open to the public.

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BOOK CLUBS

 

• Book Group @ the Market: Noon Aug. 9 at the Haymaker Farmers’ Market, located on the corner of Franklin St. and Summit St. under the Haymaker Overpass — “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life” by Barbara Kingsolver. Bring a lawn chair. No registration required. Copies available at the Kent Free Library. Information: 330-673-4414 or kflinfo@kentfreelibrary.org. 

• Pierce Streetsboro Library Book Discussion Club: 3 p.m. Aug. 11 in the library’s meeting room — “Defending Jacob” by William Landay, a legal thriller that tells the story of an attorney’s son who is accused of killing a classmate. Light refreshments. Copies available. Register: 330-626-4458.

• Adult Book Discussion: 7 to 8 p.m. Aug. 13, Reed Memorial Library, 167 E. Main St., Ravenna — “True Grit” by Charles Portis. This book tells the story of Mattie Ross, who is just 14 years of age when she leaves home to avenge her father’s death with Rooster Cogburn, the meanest available U.S. Marshal, by her side. Copies available. Information: 330-296-2827, ext. 200.

• Kid Lit for Grown-Ups: 6:30 p.m. Aug. 14, Kent Free Library, 312 W. Main St. — “Half A Chance” by Cynthia Lord and “We Were Liars” by E. Lockhart. No registration required. Copies available. Information: 330-673-4414 or kflinfo@kentfreelibrary.org.

• Read the Classics Book Club: 7 p.m. Aug. 19, Kent Free Library, 312 W. Main St. — “Jayber Crow: The Life Story of Jayber Crow, Barber, of the Port William Membership, as Written by Himself” by Wendell Berry. No registration required. Copies available. Information: 330-673-4414 or kflinfo@kentfreelibrary.org.

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Best Sellers

PUBLISHERS WEEKLY BEST-SELLERS

The Associated Press

Week ending 8/9

HARDCOVER FICTION

1. “A Perfect Life” by Danielle Steel (Delacorte)

2. “Tom Clancy Support and Defend” by Mark Greaney (G.P. Putnams’s Sons)

3. “The Heist” by Daniel Silva (Harper)

4. “Big Little Lies” by Liane Moriarty (Putnam/Amy Einhorn)

5. “Invisible” by Patterson/Ellis (Little, Brown)

6. “The Book of Life” by Deborah Harkness (Viking)

7. “The Lost Island” by Douglas J. Preston (Grand Central)

8. “The Magician’s Land” by Lev Grossman (Viking)

9. “Severed Souls” by Terry Goodkind (Tor)

10. “Top Secret” by Griffin/Butterworth (Putnam)

11. “The Goldfinch” Donna Tartt (Little, Brown)

12. “Act of War” by Brad Thor (Atria Books)

13. “Top Secret Twenty-One” by Janet Evanovich (Bantam)

14. “Mr. Mercedes” by Stephen King (Scribner)

15. “Fast Track” by Julie Garwood (Dutton)

HARDCOVER NONFICTION

1. “America” by Dinesh D’Souza (Regnery)

2. “One Nation” by Ben Carson (Penguin/Sentinel)

3. “The First Family Detail” by Ronald Kessler (Crown)

4. “In the Kingdom of Ice” by Hampton Sides (Doubleday)

5. “Hard Choices” by Hillary Rodham Clinton (Simon & Schuster)

6. “Blood Feud: The Clintons vs. The Obamas” by Edward Klein (Regnery)

7. “The Grumpy Guide to Life” by Grumpy Cat (Chronicle)

8. “Everything I Need to Know I Learned From a Little Golden Book” by Diane Muldrow (Golden Books)

9. “A Spy Among Friends” by Ben Macintyre (Crown)

10. “The Invisible Bridge” by Rick Perlstein (Simon & Schuster)

11. “Taking the Lead” by Derek Hough (Morrow)

12. “David and Goliath” by Malcolm Gladwell (Little, Brown)

13. “#Girlboss” by Sophia Amoruso (Penguin/Portfolio)

14. “The Mockingbird Next Door” by Marja Mills (Penguin)

15. “Think Like a Freak” by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner (William Morrow)

MASS MARKET PAPERBACKS

1. “King and Maxwell” by David Baldacci (Grand Central)

2. “W Is for Wasted” by Sue Grafton (Berkley)

3. “Deserves to Die” by Lisa Jackson (Kensington/Zebra)

4. “Concealed in Death” by J.D. Robb (Berkley)

5. “Rose Harbor in Bloom” by Debbie Macomber (Ballantine)

6. “Ready for Romance” by Debbie Macomber (Harlequin)

7. “Dark Wolf” by Christine Feehan (Jove)

8. “Something New” by Nora Roberts (Silhouette)

9. “The Hexed” by Heather Graham (Mira)

10. “Deadline” by Sandra Brown (Vision)

11. “Loving Rose” by Stephanie Laurens (Avon)

12. “Beautiful Day” by Elin Hilderbrand (Little, Brown)

13. “Bleeding Texas” by William W. Johnstone (Pinnacle)

14. “Takedown Twenty” by Janet Evanovich (Bantam)

15. “Inferno” by Dan Brown (Anchor)

TRADE PAPERBACKS

1. “Unbroken” by Laura Hillenbrand (Random House)

2. “Gone Girl” by Gillian Flynn (Broadway Books)

3. “Taking It All” by Maya Banks (Berkley)

4. “The Boys in the Boat” by Daniel James Brown (Penguin)

5. “Heaven Is for Real (movie tie-in)” by Todd Burpo (Thomas Nelson)

6. “Swan Point” by Sherryl Woods (Mira)

7. “Weight Watchers Cook It Fast” by Weight Watchers (St. Martin’s Griffin)

8. “The Valley of Amazement” by Amy Tan (Ecco)

9. “The All-Girl Filling Station’s Last Reunion” by Fannie Flagg (Random House)

10. “How to Read Literature Like a Professor” by Thomas C. Foster (Harper Perennial)

11. “Private L.A.” by James Patterson and Mark Sullivan (Grand Central Publishing)

12. “The Healing Quilt” by Wanda E. Brunstetter (Shiloh Run Press)

13. “And the Mountains Echoed” by Khaled Hosseini (Riverhead)

14. “The Cuckoo’s Calling” by Robert Galbraith (LB/Mulholland)

15. “The Longest Ride” by Nicholas Sparks (Grand Central Publishing)

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. 

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WALL STREET JOURNAL-BEST SELLERS

The Associated Press

Best-Selling Books Week Ended August 9

FICTION

1. “Four: A Divergent Collection” by Veronica Roth (Katherine Tegen Books)

2. “Insurgent” by Veronica Roth (Katherine Tegen Books)

3. “Allegiant” by Veronica Roth (Katherine Tegen Books)

4. “A Perfect Life” by Danielle Steel (Delacorte)

5. “Tom Clancy Support and Defend” by Mark Greaney (G.P. Putnams’s Sons)

6. “Wonder” by R.J. Palacio (Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers)

7. “Frozen” by Victoria Saxon (Random House Disney)

8. “The Heist” by Daniel Silva (Harper)

9. “Big Little Lies” by Liane Moriarty (Amy Einhorn Books)

10. “Invisible” by James Patterson and David Ellis (Little, Brown)

NONFICTION

1. “America: Imagine a World Without Her” by Dinesh D’Souza (Regenry Publishing)

2. “Minecraft: Redstone Handbook” by Scholastic (Scholastic)

3. “Minecraft: Essential Handbook” by Scholastic (Scholastic)

4. “Strengths Finder 2.0” by Tom Rath (Gallup Press)

5. “Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence” by Sarah Young (Thomas Nelson)

6. “One Nation: What We Can All Do” by Ben Carson (Sentinel)

7. “The First Family Detail” by Ronald Kessler (Crown Forum)

8. “In the Kingdom of Ice” by Hampton Sides (Doubleday)

9. “Hard Choices” by Hillary Rodham Clinton (Simon & Schuster)

10. “Blood Feud: The Clintons vs. The Obamas” by Edward Klein (Regnery Publishing)

FICTION E-BOOKS

1. “If I Stay” by Gayle Forman (Penguin)

2. “Outlander” by Diana Gabaldon (Random House)

3. “Big Little Lies” by Liane Moriarty (Penguin)

4. “Ugly Love” by Colleen Hoover (Atria)

5. “Dark Skye” by Kresley Cole (Gallery)

6. “Taking It All” by Maya Banks (Penguin)

7. “The Giver” by Lois Lowry (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

8. “Night Moves” by Nora Roberts (Silhouette)

9. “The Fault in Our Stars” by John Green (Penguin)

10. “Not a Drill” by Lee Child (Random House)

NONFICTION E-BOOKS

1. “Unbroken: A World War II Story” by Laura Hillenbrand (Random House)

2. “The Boys in the Boat” by Daniel James Brown (Viking Press)

3. “The Path Between the Seas” by David McCullough (Simon & Schuster)

4. “The First Family Detail” by Ronald Kessler (Crown)

5. “The Lodge Cast Iron Cookbook” by The Lodge Company (Oxmoor House)

6. “In the Kingdom of Ice” by Hampton Sides (Knopf Doubleday)

7. “7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess” by Jen Hatmaker (B&H Publishing)

8. “Heaven is for Real” by Todd Burpo and Lynn Vincent (Thomas Nelson)

9. “Jefferson and Hamilton” by John Ferling (Bloomsbury)

10. “The Hot Zone” by Richard Preston (Knopf Doubleday)

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

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USA TODAY BEST-SELLERS

The Associated Press

1. “If I Stay” by Gayle Forman (Speak)

2. “The Fault in Our Stars” by John Green (Dutton Children’s)

3. “The Giver” by Lois Lowry (Laurel Leaf)

4. “Four: A Divergent Collection” by Veronica Roth (Katherine Tegen Books)

5. “Outlander” by Diana Gabaldon (Dell)

6. “Divergent” by Veronica Roth (Katherine Tegen Books)

7. “Big Little Lies” by Liane Moriarty (Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam)

8. “Unbroken” by Laura Hillenbrand (Random House)

9. “Taking It All” by Maya Banks (Berkley)

10. “Insurgent” by Veronica Roth (Katherine Tegen Books)

11. “Ugly Love” by Colleen Hoover (Atria Books)

12. “The Maze Runner” by James Dashner (Delacorte Books for Young Readers)

13. “Gone Girl” by Gillian Flynn (Broadway Books)

14. “Where She Went” by Gayle Forman (Speak)

15. “Dark Skye” by Kresley Cole (Gallery Books)

16. “Allegiant” by Veronica Roth (Katherine Tegen Books)

17. “America: Imagine a World Without Her” by Dinesh D’Souza (Regenry Publishing)

18. “Fifty Shades of Grey” by E.L. James (Vintage)

19. “Deserves to Die” by Lisa Jackson (Pinnacle)

20. “Heaven is for Real” by Todd Burpo and Lynn Vincent (Thomas Nelson)

21. “King and Maxwell” by David Baldacci (Grand Central Publishing)

22. “The Magician’s Land” by Lev Grossman (Viking)

23. “Severed Souls: Richard and Kahlan” by Terry Goodkind (Tor)

24. “The Goldfinch” by Donna Tartt (Little by Brown)

25. “The Heist” by Daniel Silva (Harper)

For the extended, interactive and searchable version of this list, visit http://books.usatoday.com/list/index

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

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Letterman nominated for humor prize

NEW YORK (AP) — David Letterman, maybe your next career should be as an author.

The CBS “Late Show” host, scheduled to step down in 2015, is a finalist for this year’s Thurber Prize for American Humor. Letterman and illustrator Bruce McCall have been nominated for the satirical picture book “This Land Was Made for You and Me (But Mostly Me).”

Letterman’s fame sets him apart from the other nominees, and so does his employment. He is the only finalist not affiliated with The New Yorker.

The other nominees announced Thursday for the $5,000 prize were magazine contributors Liza Donnelly for “Women On Men” and John Kenney for “Truth In Advertising.” The award will be presented Sept. 30.

James Thurber, for whom the prize is named, was himself a New Yorker humorist.

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Here are this week’s book reviews from McClatchy-Tribune:

“The Invisible Bridge” by Rick Perlstein; Simon & Schuster (860 pages, $37.50)

In this brick of a book, Chicagoan Perlstein has done a jampacked job of chronicling a riveting, portentous period of American history that in many ways taught us lessons we still haven’t learned: Engaging in a futile war. White House cover-ups. CIA spying on everyday Americans. A yearning for a brighter, better future.

Perlstein’s exhaustive retelling of this period’s history is also exhausting. In short, you have to really, really want to know about Watergate and the 1976 presidential race to cross the finish line at page 804. His last chapter is titled “The End?” In my head, I changed that “?” to a “!”

Some of the most fascinating passages come early in the book when Perlstein puts young “Dutch” Reagan on the couch and analyzes how, through an act of will, he convinced himself that his unsettled childhood was wonderful. From the age of 11 or so onward, all his stories had happy endings.

Perlstein contends that politician Reagan came along when the nation yearned for a hero, a figure who sat high in the saddle and made us feel good about ourselves. He was the cleansing breath a rattled nation needed to emerge from the chaos of Nixon, the bumbling of Gerald Ford and the ineffectuality of Jimmy Carter.

It’s an intriguing argument, and Perlstein makes it credibly. But that story line seems almost an excuse for the recap of a tumultuous decade.

I welcomed the reminders of the many jaw-dropping details of the lies Nixon told as he tried to squirm away as well as the dirty tricks engineered from the Oval Office. Then came those Senate hearings chaired by then-little-known, folksy U.S. Sen. Sam Ervin (D-N.C.) with “bushy eyebrows as tangled as a line of Arabic script.”

And good grief, what a day that was when White House nobody Alexander Butterfield revealed that in 1971 Nixon had a recording system installed to preserve for history his every word uttered in the Oval Office and in his executive hidey-hole. All the stuff he claimed he didn’t know and didn’t do? Well, gotcha!

Throughout it all, I’d forgotten until I read the book, Reagan was a deluded, stalwart Nixon defender. Nothing could shake his view that Washington still was that “shining city on a hill” and the events of Watergate were — huh? — “not criminal, just illegal.” Cue the Marine band and “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

—Ellen Warren, Chicago Tribune

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“Hope for Film: From the Frontlines of the Independent Cinema Revolutions” by Ted Hope with Anthony Kaufman; Soft Skull (296 pages, $25)

Ted Hope’s new book “Hope for Film” is part memoir, part manual, part manifesto as it traces his long career in independent filmmaking, mostly and most notably as a producer but more recently with a brief excursion into the nonprofit world and then onto the evolving interface of technology, creation and distribution.

Along the way, the book, written with Anthony Kaufman, covers Hope’s work with a wide range of filmmakers, many at the beginnings of their careers, including Hal Hartley, Ang Lee, Ed Burns, Todd Solondz and Todd Field. Hope recalls adventures with filmmakers Nicole Holofcener and Tamara Jenkins, while repeatedly noting the ongoing need for more women in the directing ranks and the difficulties faced by even the most acclaimed female filmmakers.

The book is full of behind-the-scenes anecdotes that mix grit, gumption and charm. In one of the book’s best chapters, Hope captures the ways the personal and professional intertwined in his career while recalling the production of Jenkins’ 2007 film, “The Savages,” which received two Academy Award nominations. Jenkins and Hope had dated for a time before working together, and throughout the process of making the film he second guesses her motives and his own. In a rather uproarious digression, Hope describes attending Jenkins’ wedding to writer and producer Jim Taylor, where he ends up accidentally spilling wine on another of Jenkins’ exes. The book could, in all honesty, have used more moments like that.

More than that, this seems like a lost opportunity to discuss the shifting landscape of the film industry, how those projects functioned in relation to the current environment and the changing role of a producer like himself.

Hope’s story is ultimately one of renewal, because he argues that there will always be a need for cinematic storytelling, even as the definitions of those terms change.

—Mark Olsen, Los Angeles Times

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“What We See When We Read” by Peter Mendelsund; Vintage Original (448 pages, $16.95)

Peter Mendelsund’s “What We See When We Read” may be the liveliest, most entertaining and best illustrated work of phenomenology you’ll pick up this year.

An acclaimed book-jacket designer and art director, Mendelsund investigates, through words and pictures, what we see when we read text and where those images come from.

His breakdown of the reading and visualizing processes yields many insights.

Mendelsund expends some energy on the differences between seeing and understanding — devoted readers of a novel tend to understand more of a character than they see with their mind’s eye.

Although book-cover design is his trade, he argues against literal illustrations of fictional characters, seeing them as limiting.

He cites the frantic Kafka, worried that the publisher of “Metamorphosis” would try to show the insect form of Gregor Samsa on the cover: “Not that, please not that! The insect itself cannot be depicted. It cannot even be shown from a distance.”

“One should watch a film adaptation of a favorite book only after considering, very carefully,” Mendelsund writes, “the fact that the casting of the film may very well become the permanent casting of the book in one’s mind. This is a very real hazard.”

In one of this friendly book’s bitterest pages, Mendelsund posts an image of Keira Knightley in character as Anna K. and declares this picture “is a form of robbery.” (This explains why I have no interest in seeing any filmed version of “The Great Gatsby,” and why I’m relieved that, so far, no producer has been able to make a movie of “A Confederacy of Dunces.”)

—Jim Higgins, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

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“Lincoln’s Bishop: A President, a Priest, and the Fate of 300 Dakota Sioux Warriors” by Gustav Niebuhr; Harper (212 pages, $26.99)

In the latest book on the U.S.-Dakota War, Gustav Niebuhr takes us back to an extraordinary and pivotal meeting in September 1862 with Henry Benjamin Whipple, Minnesota’s first Episcopal bishop. Lincoln’s 12-year-old son, Willie, had died of typhoid fever that year. The Civil War wasn’t going well and the president was busy crafting his Emancipation Proclamation.

Back in Minnesota, more than 600 white immigrant settlers had been killed and more than a dozen counties emptied out after starving Dakota Indians staged surprise attacks in hopes of winning back land snatched through a series of shady treaties.

While Gov. Alexander Ramsey was telling the Legislature that September that the Dakota “must be exterminated or driven forever beyond the borders of the state,” Whipple gave Lincoln quite a different message. He explained how a crooked federal Indian policy was to blame for the war.

“The bishop managed to set the war within the context of federal government corruption and ineptitude,” Niebuhr writes. “He created for Lincoln a lens through which to view the war.”

In the process, Niebuhr makes Whipple a handy lens for readers to understand the complex and bloody five-week clash that would define a four-year-old state. And when Lincoln reduced from 303 to 38 the number of Dakota hanged in Mankato the day after Christmas 1862, Niebuhr makes a compelling case for Whipple’s role in saving 265 Dakota men from the gallows.

—Curt Brown, Minneapolis Star Tribune

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“Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage” by Haruki Murakami; Alfred A. Knopf (400 pages, $25.95)

When the bottom falls out of your life, you can’t always figure out what the hell happened. You just have to get through it.

But getting through it and getting past it can be the difference between surviving and living.

Haruki Murakami’s accessible and moving new novel underscores that difference and the personal journey necessary to bridge that gap.

When the novel’s title character is cut off completely by his circle of high school friends during his sophomore year in college — they won’t tell him the reason — he nearly dies.

Even after he pulls out of his profound funk — during which he all but erased himself — he feels like he’s still struggling for color and definition. At his girlfriend’s urging, he tracks down his former friends to get the answer for himself.

The journeys he takes turn out to be as much inward as out of town. As is often the case in Murakami’s fiction, his characters are all about introspection — think Ted Mosby in TV’s “How I Met Your Mother” or Woody Allen in his earlier, funnier relationship comedies. But unlike his American comedy counterparts, Tsukuru is focused more on loss than laughs.

Considering the otherworldliness of Murakami’s most recent novels, “Colorless” is almost jarringly down-to-earth. No talking cats, no twin moons in the sky, no vanishing elephants.

In fact, the tone is often neutral, if deceptively so. One of Murakami’s most endearing and enduring traits as a writer is an almost reportorial attention to detail, the combined effect of which gives you a complete picture while still feeling a little ethereal.

—Chris Foran, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

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“Lucky Us” by Amy Bloom; Random House (256 pages, $26)

I can’t think of a book that has more wittily and movingly encapsulated the years from 1939 to 1949, covering both the Second World War and the periods just before and after, than Amy Bloom’s latest, “Lucky Us.”

This richly textured, pitch-perfect flashback had me desperately wanting to somehow contact deceased relatives who lived through that time and quiz them.

The book’s protagonist, Eva Acton, might be able to help me with that past-life-connection thing. At least so she’d have you believe during her years as a fake psychic tarot-card reader; she’s also a thief.

Once in Ohio, before 12-year-old Eva has been properly introduced to her half-sister, 16-year-old Iris, Mom has left Eva’s suitcase on the front steps.

The sisters form a tenuous bond that strengthens when they hit the road after Dad repeatedly absconds with Iris’ “I’m gonna be a star” savings, her winnings and earnings from pageants, Lions Club speeches and such. They head to Hollywood, where Eva plays house while Iris sashays her way into the movie-studio system and its underground lesbian network.

Despite the often fraught, occasionally horrific circumstances Eva and Iris find themselves in, this is a book that’s completely permeated with love, humor and kindness. Readers will root for virtually all of the characters, but especially our Eva.

Your heart can’t help but sing when Eva starts finding her own voice and way in the world.

You know it’s great fiction when you find a book insinuating itself into your everyday life, and for me, “Lucky Us” has done that in countless ways. EBay will no doubt reap the rewards, as I search for Little Blue Books and the jazz songs that serve as chapter titles.

—Joy Tipping, The Dallas Morning News

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© 2014, McClatchy-Tribune

Distributed by MCT Information Services

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The Romance Reader

By Lezlie Patterson | McClatchy News Service (MCT)

“No Good Duke Goes Unpunished” by Sarah MacLean; Avon (382 pages, $7.99)

Sarah MacLean exploded on the historical romance scene in 2010 with her amazing debut of “Nine Rules to Break When Romancing A Rake.” By the time the trilogy was completed, MacLean was firmly established as one of the most talented writers in the genre.

Her second series was just as entertaining, enchanting and engaging as her debut trilogy.

The fourth and final story in MacLean’s “Fallen Angel” series is due out soon. “Never Judge a Lady by Her Cover” is due to hit the shelves Nov. 25.

In the meantime, MacLean’s publisher is offering the first three in the series for $2.99 each on Kindle.

If you haven’t read these yet, hurry before this limited time offer expires.

All three books are fabulous.

The third book, “No Good Duke Goes Unpunished,” reveals a lot of secrets — including one that sets up the series finale.

From the opening words in the prologue until the final two sentences that reveal a bit of shock, all 382 pages are a masterpiece that will have you sniffling and wiping tears.

It will also have you cheering for perhaps one of the most intriguing and strongest heroines ever created.

Set in 1831 London, the story is full of twists and surprises, infused with emotional moments that will keep you reaching for those tissues and passionate moments that will have you reaching for a fan.

Temple is one of the partners of the infamous casino The Fallen Angel. It’s an interesting switch from the normal settings of historical set in London ballrooms and parlors. Temple lives in the underworld, and he has become one of the most feared and powerful men in London there.

He was born to be one of the most powerful men in England — he is a duke. But he was exiled 12 years earlier for a murder he didn’t commit. In fact, he finds out very earlier in this book that that woman he was accused of killing is still very much alive.

Mara had good reasons for disappearing 12 years earlier. At age 16, she was to be married to a much older duke — Temple’s father. She had a plan to escape the nuptials and drew an unwitting Temple into them. She miscalculated a few things, though, and never meant for anyone to think she was dead. Just ruined.

Mara and Temple spend most of the book battling wits, and the ways that Mara stands up to the massively big and strong Temple are admirable. Temple’s actions, while somewhat understandable, are not very gallant and result in some of the more emotional moments in the book.

The Fallen Angel’s last partner, Chase, is due for a story in 2014. It promises to be very intriguing, and it will be nice to get a glimpse at Temple and Mara as they enjoy marital bliss.

HOW IT STACKS UP

Overall rating: 5 of 5. If this story doesn’t stir your emotions and get your pulse racing, you should probably find another hobby. MacLean’s writing is masterful, her storytelling completely captivating and compelling.

Hunk appeal: 10. The fact that Temple isn’t a 10-plus is part of what makes this story so intriguing, in a weird sort of way. Not many writers could create a hero that does the things that Temple does and still make him likeable and the story as awesome as it is.

Steamy scene grade: XXXXX. Very passionate, very steamy.

Happily ever after: Excellent. The very ending — the last two sentences — is designed to be a shock to readers of the “Scoundrels” series. It’s a good surprise, but perhaps is one you may have guessed by the time it’s unveiled. Without revealing or hinting at what is exposed, this is evidence of MacLean’s superb writing ability and makes what she has accomplished with the first three books in this series even more remarkable.

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ALSO THIS WEEK

“Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake” by Sarah MacLean (2010 paperback), 5 of 5 hearts. Since it was mentioned earlier ... Callie is a spinster who comes up with nine things she’s determined to do, mostly items forbidden to women in 1823. First on her list is kissing the notorious Marquess of Ralston, Gabriel. Gabriel complies, and he convinces Callie to help launch his newly discovered, illegitimate Italian sister into London society — and Gabriel becomes her co-conspirator in marking off the items on her list. As each item gets marked off, Callie and Gabriel get closer. As they mark off a few items not on the list, they get even closer. From its title, to the happily-ever-after, to the plot, characters, dialogue and story twists, “Nine Rules To Break When Romancing A Rake” is infused with charm, humor and romance and is an absolute must-read.

Lezlie Patterson is a former columnist for The State newspaper in Columbia, S.C. Readers may send her email at lezlie.patterson@gmail.com. To read more of her romance reviews, go to http://lezlie-romance.blogspot.com.

Distributed by MCT Information Services

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