Last night I finished Simple Genius by David Baldacci. Third book in the King & Maxwell series, this one was alternately intense and completely unbelievable. I was certainly not expecting what happened, at least as far as the plot of this particular installment, but was totally expecting what happened in the overall story line (except I thought it would go further). I do enjoy his books...not great literature, but interesting enough with characters I like enough that I am honestly hoping things work out well for them. With every one, Sean and Michelle become more human, and thus more likable, even with all their many faults, because they are honestly good people trying their best.
Then I moved on to Hostage by Kay Hooper. Turns out I've read this one before, but it must have been after some surgery or another because I only vaguely remembered it. Her books are the perfect summer beach/bathtub reads: interesting while you're reading them, but requiring little to no thought. She has several series of three books that all deal with the same characters, between a group of FBI and a private organization all of which are psychics, mediums, telepaths, etc. all solving crimes together. And battling evil. And forming lifelong romantic relationships. It's certainly not everyone's cup of tea, but they're good for mindless entertainment.
Last night I finished John Grisham's Sycamore Row. It was fabulous to reconnect with old friends! This one is the sequel to A Time To Kill, written 25 years later but set three years later. Well-written as almost all his books, interesting, keeping you guessing, and eventually the right side wins (for the most part). I started reading Grisham because his books are set in Mississippi in areas where I used to spend a great deal of time, and I stayed because he's a darn fine writer with characters I care about. I really did feel like I was catching up with friends I hadn't talked to in entirely too long when I started the book.
And because I'm a glutton for punishment: Private Down Under (or Private Oz, depending on where it was published) by JP and Michael White. These books are silly. The first Private was good, and I thought it was going to be another series like the Alex Cross or Mike Bennett books, but no. These are all VERY loosely related, with the occasional recurring character and held together by the fact that the same man owns all these PI firms in various countries. They're ridiculous. I keep picking them up hoping they'll be better, and they never are. I think it's his choice of writers, honestly. The ones writing these books so he can take credit for them don't actually deserve any credit. OR... maybe he really does write these, and he needs so many co-authors not because it's impossible for anyone to write this quickly but because he really sucks. Maybe the parts I don't like in all "his" books are the parts he writes. It could happen.
Then I moved on to Live to See Tomorrow by Iris Johansen. It's weird... her books are as completely ridiculous as JP's, and they all follow a formula (international intrigue, beautiful woman in trouble, gorgeous man helping her, sudden, passionate love between two unlikely people that the woman fights against until she finally gives in, riding off into the sunset), but I like them. There are recurring characters that inter-relate throughout all of her books, but almost all of them end up getting their own starring role. They're certainly not great literature, but they're interesting. Kinda like an old-style Harlequin romance mixed with a Mary Higgins Clark mystery.
Did You Miss Me? by Karen Rose. I always enjoy reading her books, and there are always plot twists that even though I can sometimes see them coming still take me sort of by surprise when they do. This one has a bit more graphic sex scenes than I remember from previous books, but they were easy enough to skim past to get back into the part of the story that mattered. Definitely engaging, and equally definitely an author I'll continue to read whenever I run across one of her books. Not, however, an author I go out of my way to order.