Really good! This was NOT what I expected, but Lisa Kleypas sold me in the end. It looks like she can write anything, including contemporary romance w...moreReally good! This was NOT what I expected, but Lisa Kleypas sold me in the end. It looks like she can write anything, including contemporary romance with a light touch a magic and fantasy for the imagination.
Rainshadow Road is a story of destined lovers, quite possibly brought together by unseen forces, to find a happiness they never dreamed possible.
Set in the beautiful village town of Friday Harbor, Washington - an island community protected by the rainshadows cast from nearby mountains, giving them more sunny and dry days perfect for growing grapes.
Lucy’s life takes an unexpected turn when her boyfriend of two years breaks things off, confessing to be in love with none other than her sister. Hurt by the betrayal, she throws herself into her work and what she loves to do most – making beautiful stained glass windows and artifacts with hand blown glass. But Lucy has a secret, she has an extraordinary gift that connects her to her art.
Then she meets Sam, a local wine maker and handsome geek with piercing green-blue eyes. He has a pension for nerdy T-shirts and a love of all things wine, but he does not do relationships. Keeping it casual between consenting adults is his thing, so he might be the perfect rebound choice for Lucy to help mend a broken heart.
Sam is deeply drawn to Lucy, and against his better judgement he offers to help her when she needs a friend to turn to. She enters his world and meets his family, and what started as a friendship turns into a passion he can't define. Is he ready for someone like Lucy? Will he understand just what and who she is?
Sam is focused on his wine business and trying to renovate an old estate home that came with his winery. With the help of his brothers, they are slowly making progress on restoring the old home to its original glory and bringing life to the vineyard. To say thank you, Lucy offers her talent at making a beautiful stained glass window, which might just be the touch the home needs.
Knowing from the start that their relationship will lead to nowhere, Lucy realizes it can't last. Her feelings for Sam are growing, her family life is a mess, and opportunities to move on are presenting themselves. She has no interest in changing a man, and Sam has no interest in anything more than casual so she must think of herself. And while Sam realizes Lucy is more than meets the eye, he's not ready for happily-ever-after.
My final thoughts
This was a great read, although I was a bit confused at first as to the direction it was going. It started off a bit lighter in tone and slower paced than Kleypas's last contemporaries. In fact, the Friday Harbor series is shaping up to be nothing like them at all. The Texas series is written in first person and is a bit grittier with mega rich alpha heroes. This series is in third person and seems more light and humorous, with heroes more beta or gamma types (but still very sexy in their own ways!)
By midway it picked up the pace and the story and romance took off. I felt this was more along the lines of a good Nora Roberts book, but with some magical elements added in and some hotter steamy moments.
Sam made a great beta-hero with a nerdy but sexy side. I found his geek humor hilarious!! The dialogue between Sam and Lucy was great, and it had me smiling every time they got together. Lucy was the kind of heroine I like; smart but not full of herself, sexy in a subtle way, and secure in her own skin.
The magic elements in the story threw me at first, and honestly didn't work for me until the ending. I didn't understand its importance, but I'm glad I stuck with it. I do wish there were more magical elements in the story for the sake of keeping a flow between reality and fantasy, as the little we get did feel out of place.
The ending was pitch perfect for me. I wont spoil it but I found myself completely enthralled and sucked in to the story, and cheering for Lucy and Sam. Overall I enjoyed this one and I look forward to Alex's story. Something tell me his story is going to be darker and have much more magical/paranormal elements to it.
Wow, even better the second time through! So much happens in this story that it's easy to miss many of the details in the first read. This time I saw...moreWow, even better the second time through! So much happens in this story that it's easy to miss many of the details in the first read. This time I saw the story unfold from a very different perspective as I knew what was ahead of them. It made me really appreciate the talented Suzanne Collins. She created an amazing futuristic dystopian world, then showed it to us from the point-of-view of a seemingly insignificant young lady named Katniss. (Who turns out to be anything but insignificant).
If you haven't read it, don't write it off simply because it's classified as a young adult read, or worse because its being compared to the teen favorites Twilight and Harry Potter. I hate those comparisons, and in this case they are completely off the mark. I personally don't consider it a young adult book even though many of the lead characters are all teens.
Despite the YA classification, The Hunger Games addresses some very adult topics and is for mature minded people. It has a darker tone that will pull on all of your human emotions. It has a lot of action and violence, but not in a gratuitous way. It will make you think about the value of a human life, and how even great triumphs can be bitter sweet and come with a devastating cost.
Now I have to go re-read the final two in this book. Even though I know how it all ends, it feels like a fresh new read the second time around as I can see all of those clues more clearly, understand the strategies a bit better, and visualize the world with more depth. I loved this one, and I sure hope the movie does it justice. (less)
4.5 stars. Overall, I loved it. I listened to this one on audio, and the reader was fantastic. (I'm sad she hasn't recorded any other books.) Cat's Ta...more4.5 stars. Overall, I loved it. I listened to this one on audio, and the reader was fantastic. (I'm sad she hasn't recorded any other books.) Cat's Tale was a fun naughty spin off of Puss In Boots, a fairy tale I am not familiar with. I don't know how it compares to the original tale, but as a stand alone fantasy read it was great and easy to follow.
This is a reverse 'reform the rake' type story, where the heroine (not the hero) has a wicked and immoral character. I loved how the heroine gradually grew a conscience, and how she came to see Julian for the whole man he is and not just what he could do for her. It had plenty of dark humorous moments, a clever storyline, and some great steamy hot scenes with a YUMMY hero. :-)
If you read and enjoyed her book Ember, this is more of that same great dark humor and clever writing. I cant wait to see what the author does next. (less)
Finished this for the second time, and while I liked it more this time around as I can see more details and better understand the plotting, it still f...moreFinished this for the second time, and while I liked it more this time around as I can see more details and better understand the plotting, it still fell a bit short for me in some areas.
This conclusion to the excellent books The Hunger Games and Catching Fire ends with the final battle between the Capital and the districts, lead by district 13. Katniss assumes the role as the Mockingjay, a symbolic icon meant to liberate the Capitol and give meaning to their cause.
I loved the conclusion to the war, and I think its by far the best part of the book. There were a lot of surprises and twists, and it comes with some devastating costs. I cried at some of the war scenes, wishing for a rewrite, but realizing this is portraying war in all its reality.
The love triangle between Gale and Peeta was probably my least favorite part of the book. I realize this isn't a romance story, but I had trouble believing Katniss could still be so indifferent after several years of this. I finally thought both guys were too good for her and should move on.
Katniss was a hit/miss for me in this book. I loved her in the Hunger Games and Catching Fire, but here she is portrayed to be more selfish and aloof. She border lined on TSTL a few times, which drove me nuts.
The first time I read it I wasn't so sure I liked how district 13 is portrayed, but this time around I get it. I think it the book ended on a great note, but so much of it is off screen since this series is told through Katniss's POV. That worked great in the first two books, but having this kind of story told from a single POV limited it for the reader. Many of the characters we came to love get lost to us (or their final story is less than we would like!) because Katniss wasn't always around to show us what happens to them all.
Overall though, this was a great read and I enjoyed the conclusion to the series.
So did the princess live happily ever after once the prince rescued her from the beastly dragon who ate her parents? This super-short story was a fun...moreSo did the princess live happily ever after once the prince rescued her from the beastly dragon who ate her parents? This super-short story was a fun cheeky continuation to the fable, but don't expect much depth to the story. (less)
Maybe 15-20 pages total, not bad for a free read but I wouldn't recommend paying a dime for it. It is a fantasy read about a woman who gets a sexy vis...moreMaybe 15-20 pages total, not bad for a free read but I wouldn't recommend paying a dime for it. It is a fantasy read about a woman who gets a sexy visitor every St. Patrick Day. I might have given it 3 stars if only the heroine wasn't so quick to spread her legs for a complete stranger. A little dialogue maybe? Uh, no. (less)
4.5 stars. A steamy novella with a sexy shape-shifter Dragon (Magnus) who finds the woman who left him four years ago, and who he could never forget....more4.5 stars. A steamy novella with a sexy shape-shifter Dragon (Magnus) who finds the woman who left him four years ago, and who he could never forget. A great dark romance short story (about 70 or so pages?), well done. (less)