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Archive for 'Reading Challenge'

Themed Read: Lifelines by CJ Lyons

I read another of my chosen themed reads this week. LIFELINES by CJ Lyons is a medical thriller and it fits my theme because of the doctors and nurses with their uniforms.

Lifelines is a story about four medical staff, although the main story is about new ER attending physician, Lydia Fiore. She’s moved from Los Angeles to Pittsburgh, it’s the first of July, which is also transition day, and the most dangerous day of the year because of all the new medical students starting their internships. On Lydia’s first night, a patient comes in to the ER. They’re mystified as to what’s wrong with him and despite every effort, the patient dies. After the death, Lydia learns the man who has died is the son of Dr. Elliot Weiss, the chief of surgery. He blames Lydia for his son’s death and he’s after her blood. She’s put on probation, pending an enquiry and that’s when the fun starts for Lydia. Something isn’t adding up about the death. At the autopsy, Lydia starts to think cyanide poisoning, but others don’t agree, especially Dr. Weiss. When more cyanide poisonings occur some people start to wonder if Lydia is trying to cover her mistake.

Things I liked about this book:

1. It’s fast paced. The entire story takes place over four days from 1st July to 4th July.
2. The setting of the busy ER is excellent and CJ Lyons’ medical background really shows.
3. I enjoyed the characters, both the main and secondary ones.
4. The thriller/mystery component was compelling and hooked me. I read quickly. I was also tired the next day!

Things I didn’t like about this book:

1. The romance element wasn’t the main part of the story. I thought it was a romance. I don’t know why I thought this considering the spine of the book says fiction. Having said that, I’m really glad I read this book.
2. At times the medical jargon made me blink. It wasn’t overdone but in a couple of places I had to reread. Also, if someone could tell me what a wifebeater is? I’m thinking it’s a kind of shirt?

As I mentioned above, I’m glad I read this book. It was a great read, and I enjoyed it so much, I’ve purchased CJ Lyons follow up book, WARNING SIGNS, which follows the same main four characters but focuses on one of the others. Fans of ER or Grey’s Anatomy would enjoy this book. If you enjoy mysteries with a slight romance thread and a medical flavor, this is definitely the book for you.

Themed Reading: Rare Breed by Connie Hall

This is the first book I’ve read in my themed reading challenge. It’s taken me a while to get started because I judged two published author contests. I’m all done now and ready to face my challenges.

Rare Breed is about Wynne Sperling who is a park ranger in Zambia, Africa. There’s a poaching operation in her park and Wynne is determined to catch the poachers and toss them in jail. She’s not sure of the poaching leader’s identity, but suspects it’s Englishman Noah Hellstrom who owns a safari tour operation. Then there’s Texan Jack MacKay who is loaded with charm but raises Wynne’s suspicions. There are also rumors of a feline, said to be an ancient breed, and if the stories are true, Noah Hellstrom is determined to profit from them.

I chose this book from my to-read pile because it’s been there a long time and it fit my theme of heroes and heroines who wear uniforms. It was part of the now defunct Harlequin Bombshell line, which will give you an idea of how long it’s been sitting in my pile.

What I liked:

1. The unusual setting of Zambia and a game park. (I’ve visited Zambia and it was lovely revisiting the country)
2. The heroine’s occupation –a woman park ranger in Africa.
3. Wynne’s weapon of choice is a slingshot, and she’s very proficient with it.
4. The distinct African flavor of the story. I could see the setting so clearly, feel the heat and the sounds of the animals.
5. Snow, the leopard raised by Wynne, and the fact Wynne allowed Snow to return to the wild.

What I didn’t like:

1. This wasn’t really a romance.
2. Although we were left hanging about the identity of the poachers, it was pretty easy to guess the identity of the poacher and the good guy undercover.

Would I read another book by Connie Hall? Yes, definitely. I had no problem with the writing style.