Thursday, April 29, 2010

Catherine Anderson: Morning Light

Morning Light: D
Loni MacEwen & Clint Harrigan

Crusty Clint Harrigan (of the same Harrigan clan as Anderson's Sun Kissed), is, at 37, a Catholic cowboy who's sworn off romance. The arrival of a cute Catholic clairvoyant in his hometown of Crystal Falls, Ore., challenges his resolve and his skepticism. Seer Loni Kendra MacEwen, still a virgin at 31, is shocked when she bumps into Clint at the grocery store. He's the dream cowboy she's had visions of her whole life, and she has recently connected those visions to visions of Trevor, an endangered boy who (along with his protective Saint Bernard) was lost in the Shoshone Wilderness Area after a river accident killed his mom and stepdad, an Oregon senator. Loni tells a resistant Clint he's the only one who can save Trevor, and soon the hunt is on... (amazon)

As a prelude to this especially snarky entry: I like Catherine Anderson... for the most part. I find that she writes about real characters, people who go through real hardships (not ones like, "I was unloved as a child so now I'm a heartless jerk."). Her traumatized and troubled characters are believable. I feel for them.


This book wasn't fun to read.

I will surely go to hell for this - sorry, God!- but the main reason I disliked this book was because of the constant references to religion and the Catholic faith. Being a believer, I personally have nothing against Christianity or the Catholic faith. However, it grated on my nerves that the hero and heroine talked about their faith all the time. I understand that topics like that require a lengthy and a hefty discussion. But that doesn't mean I want to read all about it.

By the halfway mark, I wanted to pound on something (insert *headdesk*).

I mean, if (when??? oh drats, I'm getting old..) I am looking for a prospective husband, religion would be a huge (and quite possibly, the only) factor. But ...but .... the constant praying on rosary beads, feeling touched about how each person kneeled to pray, the fact that she's a virgin at 31 (they might have just danced to VIRGIN! VIRGIN! VIRGIN!), the decision to not do the hanky-panky, then doing the hanky-panky (losing control), then talking about talking to Father Mike (Matt?) in confession for repentance... goodness gracious!

Clint, dude. I get you. You're Catholic, you're ethically and morally upright. You're a good citizen. But for the love of God, let's get over that and talk about something else... yes? No? Oh.........dammit..

The book is a hefty one at 422 pgs aaand I wasn't too interested after the halfway point. But I made myself finish... I need to develop more perseverance in finishing books (though I'm pretty good about it most of the time)

Anyway, most of the book is spent looking for Clint's newfound son (what is up with fathers being in the dark about their children? Females: horrible decision you made!), who is lost in the Oregon wilderness after a bad rafting accident. Loni, a psychic person of some sort, sees this, contacts Clint and tells him he needs to search for his son.

Clint clearly thinks Loni is crazy since he doesn't even have a son. (He is soon surprised.)

Loni and Clint go trek through the wilderness together to search for the lost boy. They fall in love. They have epic discussions about their faith. Then they start talking about other things.

Pros in reading this story: I learned a lot about navigating my way through the woods, should I ever get lost.

Cons: their faith! It might have been better if they were both hedonists.

Bottom line: Not worth your read, though Clint is a hunky rancher.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Laura Lee Guhrke: His Every Kiss

I'm keeping true to my word and am back with reviews!

At this point, I should probably thank Jen, a book clubber, because I "borrowed" books she no longer wanted to keep, aka books she wasn't planning on rereading. She was going to donate it, but I took them instead. I have the big box in my trunk (it's easier to keep in there and take out several books instead of transporting the entire box). Fear not, I will donate it after I get through the books.

So, thanks Jen! :)

And without further ado:

His Every Kiss: A-
Historical - Victorian
Grace Cheval & Dylan Moore

Everyone knows about Dylan Moore -- his brilliant talent and his pleasure-seeking ways -- but no one knows the torment that lies beneath his reckless veneer. Only one woman gets a glimpse of the forces that drive Dylan's soul, a woman who haunts his dreams and evokes his passions as no other woman ever has before.

Disgraced and destitute, Grace Cheval wants nothing to do with the seductive man who desires her. When Dylan offers her a position as governess to his newfound daughter, she knows his true intentions are dishonorable. Yet she finds this charismatic man hard to resist, and she returns his passionate kisses with a fire that matches his own. Can Dylan dare hope that this proud, spirited beauty will melt the ice around his heart? (amazon)

I was first introduced to Mr. Dylan Moore in Guilty Pleasures. He is dark, wild, an utter rake, and ...tormented.

Now, it sounds so wrong to say that I like dark, "tortured" heroes, but it's true. I don't like foppish guys. I don't like effeminate, overly expressive guys who are wont to get dramatic and start up a sobfest. (Mr. Darcy > Mr. Bingley..!)

So when we meet Moore in Guilty Pleasures, he is prolifically gambling, whoring, drinking, and smoking.

Then you start reading His Every Kiss, and you find out that he has suffered a damage that causes him to hear a perpetual whining in his ears at all hours of the day, a tragic accident for Great Britain's greatest composer. He gives up hope, but our lovely heroine, Grace, steps in and saves him. He doesn't find out who she is, what her name is, and she has disappeared.

Five years later, they meet again.

Moore also discovers he has a child - a daughter - one he has never known about. Isabel is the product of one of many affairs he's had, and when Isabel's mother dies from scarlet fever, Isabel is dropped off at Moore's house. He is, unsurprisingly, horrified.

Seeing that Grace is living in a state of near poverty, he offers her a job as a governess to his daughter. She grudgingly accepts, knowing that Moore will try to hit on her and turn her into his mistress. But what can she do? She needs the money!

Hence, their relationship starts.

For one, I'm always wary of reading a story where there is a child/ children involved. Don't get me wrong. As mean and snarky as I am, I completely love children - how could I not? I'm surrounded by children since I tutor. But children are bratty and take up a lot of time, energy, and attention. I normally like my stories to focus solely on the hero and heroine, as I read romances for their journey into love. I don't read romances to read about kids who throw temper tantrums and have issues only the most qualified therapists can being to unravel. Since most authors cannot do an adequate job writing about two people falling in love, I don't see why they feel the need to throw a kid into the mix.

Luckily, Isabel is eight, not a full-fledged teenager (*shudder*) and I was surprised to find that she brought a unique aspect to the story. I enjoyed reading about her and I liked Moore's slow transformation into a caring and loving father.

I also found Grace and Moore's story to be quite enjoyable. Grace has been badly burned from her previous marriage and unlike other dim-witted females, she works to apply what she's learned from her previous marriage.

In other words, she doesn't say "I'm not going to lose my heart as easily as I did last time!" and ten minutes later, professes her love to some random stranger on the street. She shows admirable restraint and self-control, two traits I admire greatly.

Though Moore is quite the dark, brooding figure, I must admit, I ended up giggling and rolling my eyes towards the end when he is so pathetically groveling on the ground. (The part where the two people gush about their love for each other..) He was turning the entire scene into an entirely dramatic sobfest... I guess it was an emotional thing for them both, but.... gad, man! Get a hold of yourself!

Bottom line: Despite the slight emo ending, it was a good read and I would recommend it as a fun, fast, light read.

PS: Read an excerpt here.

PPS: the back of the book is ridiculous. As long as I've been reading romances, I can not get over the atrociousness of cover art.

Eek, why is this dude shirtless in the middle of the night?

Oh right, to seduce the woman whose dress is falling off her.


Also, HI APRIL! I haven't followed up since my last entries, but I don't think I will be able to get an e-reader anytime soon. It's one of those greedy wants, haha. Your recommendations don't sound familiar to me, so I will (happily) look into it!

Also, why erotica > chick-lit?
Is it because the chick-litty females are sometimes so ...dumb? :P

Thursday, April 15, 2010

i sort-of... sort-of..

...want an e-kindle.

There! I said it!

(covers face in shame)

I like books. I like holding it in my little hands, creasing the spine, and hearing the swishes as I flip the pages. I like my stories to be in my hands.

But I realize that printing mass quantities of books uses a lot of paper. And the electronic readers offer something that books never will: the lightweight convenience of carrying multiple books around.

If I had an e-kindle, I wouldn't have had a suitcase full of books when I moved out of my dorm room several years ago. I wouldn't have had to lug around the weight of three fat babies when my family and I went on a cruise last summer. And when I start traveling (since that day will come..shortly!), it would be so easy to pull up books with a few, magical clicks.

But this means I would have to buy the e-book as opposed to borrowing it for free. Darn.

But I'd be able to carry multiple books for only two-and-something lbs!

Oh the dilemma...

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

erm, happy new year?

So I'm guessing it's a little late to wish you a happy new year.

But it's so right that I would wish you a happy 2010 in April (mid-April, to be exact) because 95% of the time, I'm un-punctual. (The word "late" just has a nasty ring to it.)

The reason for my brief abandonment of this blog is because... it kills me to say it, but it's because I haven't been reading. I KNOW! Life and other weird stuff have kept me busy and I have not read. I still have not finished Pride and Prejudice and Zonbies (horrible because I need to give it back to a friend).

Oh, why?!!

Several reasons, in fact:

First, reading non-romances take me twice as long to finish. Some books can be a real downer. Brilliant, but depressing. This means, I read a couple of pages, go watch some happy movies, eat some candy, play with my hair, and come back. Instead of finishing a book in three hours, it takes me three, five, seven, fourteen days. !!!

Second, the romance genre is pretty much going into two directions:
1. erotica
2. chick-lit

I dislike erotica and chick-lit is good, but in short amounts for short periods of time. What I am really searching for is a story, a love story, about two people who meet and fall in love, and their journey of this love. I don't care for the sex, unless it's blown out of place (someone told me it was amusing when I complained about the sex scenes - I complain because it was poorly written).

This makes finding genuine romances/ love stories that much harder. And I would start myself on Nicholas Sparks, except I've been reading about how he's kind of an arrogant prick he is, and so I hesitate. I know, I really need to separate authors from their works, but if some guy is an ass and a half, I don't want to support him. (Kanye, y'hear?)

Third, the time issue. I simply don't have the time to read much.

But, here's hoping for that to change! :) Book club meets in two weeks....... ohno, it's this weekend! Jeepers.........

Change of plans.

Book club meets this Saturday.
I will have the book read by Saturday afternoon, 1pm.

I will have a review of it... soon.

Until then,
XOXO Alice