Tuesday, May 31, 2011

May 31, 2011 - Book Reviews

This is what happens when you loaf for a weekend, or when I loaf for a weekend and get my hands on 4 fun interesting books to read.  These are not brain surgery books, they are light, easy to read, bring a smile to my face romance stories.  Now I admit that I read faster than most people I know, so let’s just say that each of these books would take a few days to read for a normal human being who had something to do other than recuperate from a cold. 

 All of the following are published by Bold Strokes Books

  • True Confessions by PJ Trebelhorn
  • Jane Doe by Lisa Girolami
  • Ghosts of Winter by Rebecca S. Buck
  • Come and Get Me by Julie Cannon 

REVIEWS:

3.5 stars out of 5

The following is the description of this book on the Bold Strokes Website: 

 “What would you do if an irresistibly desirable but utterly untouchable woman whispered to you, If you want me, you'll have to come and get me?

That's exactly the situation that Elliott Foster, CEO of Foster MacKenzie, finds herself in when she meets the alluring Lauren Collier, Chief Legal Counsel of a Fortune 500 company. Elliott never has a shortage of attractive women willing to share her bed, and she doesn't care if they are attracted to her or just her money. By her rules, if two women are attracted to each other there's no reason why they shouldn't spend the night together—or in some cases, the afternoon. Lauren, intriguing but decidedly off limits, doesn't fit the mold and Elliot knows she should walk away. Instead she finds herself in the unusual position of pursuing another woman, and even more disconcertingly...on Lauren's terms. Come and Get Me is a passionate, rollercoaster romance that's anything but predictable.”

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When I read the above synopsis I had the impression that Lauren literally laid down a challenge for Elliot to “Come and Get Me.”  I don’t know what I was thinking and I suspect that is the story were really written that simply I probably would not have enjoyed it as much as I did.  Without spoiling the plot, you have Elliot who has a playgirl persona that she hides some very interesting aspects of her personality.  Then you have Lauren who is a successful lawyer who challenges Elliot and definitely falls outside of Elliot’s normal “fling” material.  Lauren doesn’t respond to Elliot in any of the ways that she is used to, making her fascinating and a little dangerous for Elliot.

I’ve read several of Julie Cannon’s stories.  As a result, I tend to expect a well written story where I feel some sort of connection to the characters.  Once again, I was not disappointed.  This was a fun story with just enough subplot(s) to give the characters some extra depth and the reader another opportunity to understand the personalities involved.


3.5 stars out of 5

I’ve not read anything by Rebecca in the past, and I’ll say upfront that I am not normally drawn to historical stories.  Having said that I don’t know if this actually qualifies as that type of story, but the author managed to mix in a sense of that without making me feel like I was bored.  The occasional side trip to the past was interspersed in a way that gave the reader appropriate context for the current storyline.

Ros has had a tough year, her Mom dies, she gives up her job, and breaks up her long term relationship.  Then Ros inherits Winter Manor, from an old family friend “Aunt Edie”, with the stipulation that she restore it to it’s past glory.  Fortunately for Ros, Aunt Edie left enough money to get the job done, as well as having already started the planning process and engaging an architect: Anna.

Anna is calm, efficient, professional, and all buttoned but Ros sees past that exterior.  From the beginning she gets glimpses of something that draws her to Anna.

The reader gets to watch this relationship unfold and see the mental gyrations that Ros goes through as she tries to get a handle on her own emotions and the turmoil of rediscovering who she is and what she wants from life.  This was a very good book, now I need to find out if Rebecca has any others out there.

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The following is the description of this book on the Bold Strokes Website: 

“Can Ros Wynne, who has lost everything she thought defined her, find her true life—and her true love—surrounded by the lingering history of the once-grand Winter Manor?

When Ros unexpectedly inherits Winter Manor on the condition that she oversee the restoration of the remote and dilapidated house, it seems the perfect place for her to retreat from her recently failed relationship, the death of her mother, and the loss of her job. But Winter Manor is not entirely at rest. The echoes of its past reach forward into the present, and Ros’s life is perceptibly shaped by the lives—and loves—of the people who inhabited those rooms and corridors in the centuries before her.

Then Anna arrives. The architect—with her designer clothes, hot car, and air of supreme professionalism—is at first an unwelcome, if necessary, intrusion. But as Ros learns Anna’s truths, she finds solace from her past losses in their developing intimacy. And when their love is threatened, Ros must decide whether her own ghosts will forever define her, or if she can embrace her life for what it is—past, present, and future.”


2.5 stars out of 5

The description from Bold Strokes:
“Sometimes a brief getaway where no one knows your name can change your life.

Emily Carver is an inhibited, small town woman who, against warnings from her family, takes her first trip to Las Vegas. On her first night there, she is mugged and saved from worse trauma by Royal Wooten, an independent, assertive woman, and a virtual opposite of Emily.

With no money or identification and unwilling to go home and face her “I-told-you-so” family, Emily decides to stay in Las Vegas and rebuild her stolen finances. But what she actually rebuilds is her entire life. She even gambles on a chance for true love and discovers that sometimes in order to find yourself, you have to start from scratch.”

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This is another author that I have not read before.  This is one of those books that I enjoyed reading but definitely classify as a beach book.   I never really felt a connection to either of the main characters and some of the interactions just seemed implausible.  Now having said that, I’ll also say it did not stop me from reading the book or even enjoying the style with which it was written. 


3 out of 5 stars

The description from Bold Strokes:
"Being in love with your best friend shouldn’t be this difficult.

Lesbian novelist Lynn Patrick returns home to Portland, Oregon, for the holidays and discovers that her lifelong friend, Jessie, has separated from her husband. During a game of True Confessions, Lynn finally sees her chance to admit her feelings for Jessie, but she doesn’t take it. She knows Jessie needs a friend now, and not another complication at this point in her life.

For Jessica Greenfield, nothing has ever been simple. Her father was abusive, and she married a man just like him. Her husband has already put her in the hospital once and has threatened her since they separated. All Jessie cares about is protecting the people she loves, and that includes her six-year-old daughter, Amber.

When Jessie’s husband shows up looking to make good on his threats, Lynn finds herself caught in the middle. Will Lynn and Jessie be able to weather the storm, or will he succeed in keeping them apart forever?"

******

I actually found this story complicated, not in a bad way, there was just a lot going on.  In one or two places I found I had to back track in my reading because I’d lost some of the timeframe or context of the story.  Specifically in the section where Lynne returns home, she was suddenly home and I felt like I missed a piece of information along the way.  It took me a moment but I figured it out.

I liked this book, I liked the story, and I enjoyed the complexity.  Sometimes I get caught up in getting through a story and I miss out on some of the storytelling itself.  This book forced me to slow down and actively pay attention to what I was reading.  I enjoyed the main characters but I also liked the supporting cast.  Funny I’d like to know more about Sarah and Karen.



© C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2011, All Rights Reserved.

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