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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Review: Mocked By Destiny by Michele Richard

Mocked By Destiny (Mocked Series) 
Publisher: The Writer's Coffee Shop
ISBN: 1612130267
Pages: 354 pgs
Genre: Young Adult/Drama
Challenges-100+ Reading Challenge, Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge

Rating:

Buy this Book:The Writer's Coffee Shop, Amazon, Powell's, Indiebound  

  

Summary from publisher:

 For Stella Richards, life in the charming town of Virginia Beach is not as magical as one would think. Sun, fun, and sand only guarantee one thing, unwanted visitors. Stella learned long ago to never befriend anyone visiting the beach. They’re here; then they’re gone, drifting in and out as the tide ebbs and flows. She vowed to never connect with anyone vacationing in Virgina Beach - until spring break. Stefan changed everything.

Stefan Sterling lives life never knowing where he will end up next. Bouncing from one Military base to another has hampered his ability to connect to those around him. That's what happens when your father is a high-ranking officer in the military. Raised in a world of discipline, control, and strangers, Stefan never expected to find anyone he'd want to be close to...let alone love.

A family curse verses a loving abnormality promises to keep Stella and Stefan on their toes. Was it an accident or could it be destiny? Will they be able to survive their families? And, is there ever a time when you can fully let go of the person who awoke your soul?

A story of love, sacrifice, and growing up before it's time.
 
My Review:  

I have been without internet since early this morning. As a matter of fact I am still without internet but I am writing this up to keep myself from losing my mind with rage at my ISP. Update—it came back and then went away again. ISP is hearing my rage voice right now. Update #2-It’s back for now. They told me the heat is the problem. It caused another yelling episode. Am I going to have to deal with this all summer?

Books about pregnancy are not appealing to me usually. Possibly because pregnancy is not something I have ever seen happening in my life—I’m not a kid friendly person. But for some reason, Mocked By Destiny just appealed to me and I couldn’t not read it.


I felt so bad for Stella. I couldn’t imagine being so strong in her shoes. I would have been a mess of panic and fright. She also just can’t seem to catch any luck. If anything could go wrong, it did go wrong for Stella. I found myself waiting for her next hardship. I did like her quite a bit even though it’s difficult to imagine myself in her shoes. I did have moments of frustration with her. She sometimes did not do what was necessary to maintain the health of her babies—like not following her diet when she was underweight. Who does that? Stefan was just a really good guy. He had a good head on his shoulders despite all reason for him not to—his parents. He lived up to his responsibilities to Stella and his children to the best of his abilities. I admire these two for sticking together even when all odds were against them.

I often find myself watching 16 and Pregnant during my lazy days of TV watching. I don’t like to admit that I watch but I do. I think that some of the couples should be made to read this book just to see how it should be done. I love how teen pregnancy was portrayed even though I’m not sure how realistic it was. Stella and Stefan acted more like an adult couple in spite of their ages. They had a maturity that I am not sure most teens in their situation would have. I don’t even think I would. Just the birth scene had me breathing in a paper bag.

Despite my misgivings, this was a really amazing and compelling book. Highly recommended.

*A copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher for review.   My opinion is my own and has not been influenced in any way and any monies   made from associate or affiliate accounts are recycled back into the  blog.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Review: Love Drunk Cowboy by Carolyn Brown

Love Drunk Cowboy 
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
ISBN: 1402253583
Pages: 416 pgs
Genre: Romance/ Western
Challenges-100+ Reading Challenge, Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge

Rating:

Buy this Book: Amazon, Powell's, Indiebound  




  Summary from publisher:

She's a self-made city girl...

High-powered career woman Austin Lanier suddenly finds herself saddled with an inherited watermelon farm deep in the countryside. She's determined to sell the farm, until her new, drop-dead sexy neighbor Rye O'Donnell shows up...

He's as intoxicating as can be...

Rancher Rye O'Donnell thinks he's going to get a good deal on his dream property-until he meets the fiery new owner. Rye is knocked sideways when he realizes that not only is Granny Lanier's city-slicker granddaughter a savvy businesswoman, she's also sexy as hell...

Suddenly Rye is a whole lot less interested in real estate and a whole lot more focused on getting Austin to set aside her stiletto heels...
 
My Review:  

Cowboys are awesome. Almost as awesome as rogues, rakes and Highlanders. They are all rugged and weathered…Well, I’ve never met a real one but the imaginary ones are. And that’s good enough for me. I love books about cowboys almost as much as I love regencies and Highlander romances. And this one was one of the best cowboy books I’ve picked up in a very long time.


I do have to admit that while I love cowboys, I very rarely like the women they are paired with. They usually end up being either overly aggressive and brash or way too demure. I like a happy medium. Austin was definitely that happy medium. She was definitely tough but I did think she had a softer side to her. I did think she had a bit of the Mary Sue to her-not a lot only a little. She seemed almost too perfect. She picked up farming immediately and was able to ride a mechanical bull at full tilt without any quibbles. I don’t think she was a Mary Sue really but she did have some of the qualities. I loved Rye. Anyone named after rye whiskey is good in my opinion. He was a gentleman in the truest sense of the word. He was kind, gentle and a little rough around the edges. I also loved that he was friends with Austin’s Granny before he even met Austin. I thought that was just adorable. Austin and Rye also had such an amazing chemistry that it just elevated the book to a whole other level.

One thing I always love about Carolyn Brown’s books is the local color. The characters and locations are always so interesting and lively. This one was no different. I would love to live in a town like Terral. I also loved the old ladies. If I could be even a little bit as awesome as they are when I’m old, I will be very happy. They were spicy, they were spunky and they had a gossip phone tree that would rival any spy network. I loved them almost as much as I loved Austin and Rye. I do have to ask a question: is there really such a thing as watermelon wine and where can I get some? Because I can deal with berry wine but watermelon wine sounds just weird and slightly gross.

*A copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher for review.   My opinion is my own and has not been influenced in any way and any monies   made from associate or affiliate accounts are recycled back into the  blog.

Review: Mr. Darcy and the Secret of Becoming a Gentleman by Maria Hamilton

Mr. Darcy and the Secret of Becoming a Gentleman 
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
ISBN: 1402244185
Pages: 464 pgs
Genre: Jane Austen Adaptation
Challenges-100+ Reading Challenge, Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge

Rating:

Buy this Book: Amazon, Powell's, Indiebound  

   


Summary from publisher:

When Elizabeth Bennet refuses his hand, Darcy is devastated and makes it his mission to change. By every civility in his power, Darcy slowly tries to win her affections, but Elizabeth is not easily swayed. Darcy vows to unlock the secrets that will make her his. He curses himself for his social awkwardness and appearance of pride, and sets out to right the wrongs he's done her family.

Elizabeth's family and friends misunderstand his intentions, and being in Elizabeth's presence proves to be both excruciating for the shy Darcy-and a dream come true. For the first time in his life, he must please a woman worth having, and the transformation leads him to a depth of understanding and love that he never could have imagined.
 
My Review:  

I am writing this review right now because I am procrastinating. I've been experimenting with a cupcake recipe all week and haven't gotten it right. I'm having a bit of baking brain freeze right now. So writing a review will help me think.


I am very used to reading Jane Austen sequels where it’s Lizzy who makes the big changes and comes to the realization about Darcy’s inherent goodness and her own pride and presumptions about him. I thought it was genius that Maria Hamilton did the reverse in this one. Darcy realizes the truth in Lizzy’s rejection as harsh as it was and endeavors to change. I also loved that it was not Darcy’s rescue of Lydia from Wickham that changed Lizzy’s perception of him but returning to Hertfordshire and playing matchmaker for Jane and Bingley. I always thought that that was his biggest offense and I was glad to see it take priority.

I loved that most of this book was from Darcy’s perspective. I am so used to seeing the Pride and Prejudice world through Lizzy’s eyes. I have only read a few where Darcy’s POV is the most prevalent and this is one of the better ones. The passion between Lizzy and Darcy was also really amazing. I sometimes feel that they can come across a bit cold in adaptations but most definitely not in this one. I loved Hamilton’s portrayal of most of the characters but I do have to admit that I did find Mr. Bennet to be quite annoying. That’s quite unusual because I really like him. On the other hand, Mrs. Bennet was one of my highlights. Her interactions with Darcy were roll on the floor hilarious.


I loved this book from start to finish. It was the perfect marriage of romance and humor. I can’t wait for Maria Hamilton’s next adaptation.


*A copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher for review.   My opinion is my own and has not been influenced in any way and any monies   made from associate or affiliate accounts are recycled back into the  blog.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Review: The Ninth Wife by Amy Stolls

The Ninth Wife: A Novel 
Publisher: Harper Paperbacks
ISBN: 0061851892
Pages: 496 pgs
Genre: Fiction
Challenges-100+ Reading Challenge, Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge

Rating:

Buy this Book: Amazon, Powell's, Indiebound  




Summary from publisher:

What sane woman would consider becoming any man's ninth wife?

Bess Gray is a thirty-five-year-old folklorist and amateur martial artist living in Washington, DC. Just as she's about to give up all hope of marriage, she meets Rory, a charming Irish musician, and they fall in love. But Rory is a man with a secret, which he confesses to Bess when he asks for her hand: He's been married eight times before. Shocked, Bess embarks on a quest she feels she must undertake before she can give him an answer. With her bickering grandparents (married sixty-five years), her gay neighbor (himself a mystery), a shar-pei named Stella, and a mannequin named Peace, Bess sets out on a cross-country journey—unbeknownst to Rory—to seek out and question the wives who came before. What she discovers about her own past is far more than she bargained for.

The Ninth Wife is a smart, funny, eye-opening tale of love, marriage, and the power of stories to unlock the true meaning of home and family.
 
My Review:  

 I was initially very nervous about The Ninth Wife. I didn’t exactly know what to expect from it but, I must say, that I liked it quite a bit.

I loved both Rory and Bess. They were both very likeable characters and I did get very involved in their story. I have no idea what I would do if the man wanting to marry me told me that he had eight previous marriages. I would likely either run or ask if he had any personality defects or issues. Because eight marriages is rather ridiculous. I also don’t understand Bess’ desire to meet them. It was morbid curiosity to the extreme. It was like going through your boyfriends Blackberry. You just don’t do it. It did make for an entertaining book though.

I did have some trouble getting into this book in the beginning. I’m not even sure why. But once I did get into it, I absolutely loved it. I loved the relationship between Rory and Bess and I could totally understand why she had such trouble accepting Rory’s past. What sane woman wouldn’t? I normally love books with strong secondary characters but, for some reason, I wanted the secondary characters in this one to be a bit on the weaker side. I was so into the story of Rory, Bess and the menagerie of wives that I did not want any interference. It’s a complete deviation from my norm.

I really loved this book. I’m not married and plan to avoid it for as long as I can but this was a really interesting look at marriage and the process of coming to terms with your partner’s past. Although I think the eight wives thing made it much more difficult for Bess than it would for most. 

*A copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher for review.   My opinion is my own and has not been influenced in any way and any monies   made from associate or affiliate accounts are recycled back into the  blog.
 

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