This was another sweet romance from Inkspell that I really enjoyed, with the extra goodness of being an interracial romance (squee) and a friends to lThis was another sweet romance from Inkspell that I really enjoyed, with the extra goodness of being an interracial romance (squee) and a friends to lovers story (woo hoo).
Like Always You, this book dealt with secrets and moving on. My heart went out to Liese who is the one carrying the guilt in the novel. Her best friend Frey has been there from the beginning before her marriage and eventual loss and is there to pick up the pieces afterward. Also like the previous novel, there is a sense of mystery throughout the novel as 'the secret' is known by the hero and heroine but later revealed to the reader. Liese is a complex character. Suffering from depression, she tries to move on despite the nightmares, the deep melancholia affecting her not only emotionally but also physically and mentally.
Frey is a completely sweet and strong hero. Some romance readers may find his beta tendencies a bit jarring if they are used to reading alpha heroes, but I love how he would be so caring of Liese and also very protective of her when someone is hurting her. The romance is low key, sensual and yet very hot when the reader's tension is relieved with a kiss. My hats off to Ms. Roberts for steaming up my reader with the most sensually hot kiss I've read recently! The later scenes between Frey and Liese prove that with the perfect description, a kiss and some tension can go a long way in place of hardcore sexually explicit scenes.
At novella length, Truly Madly Deeply You offers a quick and very satisfying read for those looking for an easy going contemporary romance to relax with.
I'm extremely glad I was able to read these two books back to back. With such gorgeous soft pastel covers that look amazing side by side, a theme of secrets, truth and renewal, both Always You and Truly, Madly, Deeply, You go hand in hand for a wonderfully romantic dual read. I must say I'm rather impressed with Inkspell's launch reads. The stories were sensual and sexy without being over the top and in your face with its sexual nature. Many readers I've spoken to have been missing the tension in romance books today where most have replaced characterization with sexual metaphors (and moving body parts) and unresolved tension with hardcore sex every page. I will be sure to mention these titles next time I speak to them because if they are like me looking for some great stories to relax with, lovely romantic tension to get your heart beating, sensual descriptions and characters you want to fall for, they will be in for a lovely treat. :-)
I'm looking forward to reading more of Inkspell's book selections! ...more
As a returner gamer girl currently dating a gamer guy, I had to grab this book and I was definitely not disappointed! The story takes place around a sAs a returner gamer girl currently dating a gamer guy, I had to grab this book and I was definitely not disappointed! The story takes place around a sci-fi convention (which made it all the more interesting for me) and is littered with geeky references from Star Wars to superheroes, Firefly, gaming and much more. For those who aren't heavily into geek or sci-fi culture, the author makes a sidenote of each reference so no one will be left behind.
I loved seeing how the characters interacted and the jokes they made between each other. The story would have made a great YA book (I hope the author decides to write a version for the YA crowd) but the constant references to the hero's arousal when around the heroine and the explicit sex scenes jolt this up to adult territory. I liked that the scenes weren't over the top in your face but got the point across.
There is a small twist that happens later that adds a bit of suspense to the narrative. If described, it may come across a bit contrived but the author pulls it off by laying the groundwork early to connect to the later payoff.
All in all, I liked Joel and Sam and look forward to see how Joel's best friend Baxter fairs in his own love story. ...more
**spoiler alert** A well written story that moves along nicely. I think my gripe is a personal one. As soon as Paul and Belle got together, his whole**spoiler alert** A well written story that moves along nicely. I think my gripe is a personal one. As soon as Paul and Belle got together, his whole preacher status felt like it was left on the wayside. I loved the fact that he was conflicted with his past colliding with his new identity but I wish we could have seen more evidence of him comfortable as a preacher. Previously we had evidence of him spending time with his parishioners, holding sermons and other events. That is until Belle arrives in town and he's constantly fighting his lust for her. As written, it seems like he became a preacher to run and hide from his past and that he was basically lying to the whole community from the time he arrived. I wish we had more of a balance a la Shepard Book (from the Firefly series).
Belle wasn't as engaging a character as Grace was. I liked that she was independent at first but later she started using sex and marriage as a bargaining chip to get what she wanted from Paul. She waffled between "I'd be crazy not to marry him, look how awesome he is!" and "this is why I'm never getting married!" She seemed too modern to me and although I understand why (her father's infidelity), it seemed too extreme for the time period the story takes place in. I LOVED the first book and enjoyed seeing two people who couldn't be more opposites come together to find solace in each other despite whatever is thrown their way. This one, although the setting, background characters and mores of the time were very enthralling, just didn't grab me as much. ...more
The strange thing about The Wishing Tree is if I hadn't come across it for work recently, I probably wouldn't have picked it up for myself to read. IThe strange thing about The Wishing Tree is if I hadn't come across it for work recently, I probably wouldn't have picked it up for myself to read. I LOVE movie westerns (I'm a big fan of the tv show Rifleman, the movies Tombstone, Sharon Stone's version of The Quick and the Dead and the third Back to the Future movie edges out the other three just by a hair ;-)) but don't read much western lit because I always think it'd be a bit dry.
The Wishing Tree started out a bit slow because I had no idea what it was about. I don't tend to check out the blurbs of books that I work on. Mainly because I miss that childlike wonderment and the element of surprise in picking up a good read. It didn't take long for me to dive whole hog into this story!
The story opens with Jake Tanner coming to collect a debt at the insistence of his brother A.J. Jake and his family are pretty well off due to the extensive ranch and cattle herding business they run. They entered an arrangement with the patriarch of the Marshall home. Unfortunately, the note he comes to collect can't be paid due to the Marshall not having much money. The solution? Their oldest daughter Grace's hand is given in marriage to clear the milk cow debt.
From the beginning, everything goes wrong. Jake isn't attracted to Grace, her family could care less is if she leaves and the townspeople come to gawk at the wedding where Grace has to settle with a dingy yellow dress. Even worst, when her father mistreats her dog, Jake opens his mouth and puts his foot in it, breaking their well kept charade of a love story in front of the entire town. Grace can't wait to leave.
When she arrives at the Tanner home, everything is in disarray. A.J., Jake's brother, lives in a shadow after his wife's death and shuts himself out from the world. Both his and Jake's son, Jeremy' are at each other's throats, subject to bad food thanks to A.J.'s cooking. Grace eases her way in to calm things down not only with Jake's family but also to get herself mentally prepared to deal with Jake's hot and cold temper as he tries to keep her at arm's length.
There are a lot of things going on in this story that run alongside the main love story. A.J.'s recovery, life on the farm, the children's relationship with their parents, and an unexpected visitor who shows up after believing to be dead for years.
I LOVED this story. I've been looking for a well written story with a rich setting and this quenched my thirst. Ms. Snodgrass has a way of writing that I love so much where she lets the characters unfold in the story by showing you how they change, act and react to their environment. There were times when I cheered the characters and other times where I wanted to smack them and I loved it because they felt well rounded like real people. They weren't cookie cutter and although I feared Grace becoming a pushover or too headstrong, she balanced both aspects just right. There's a part in the story where she confronts the villain in a way that had me out of my seat and cheering for her like I was at a hockey tournament. It was awesome. The tension of that scene leveled out with a heartbreaking revelation moments later made this an intense and interesting read. Later on in the book, there are some moments of suspense that was a much welcome surprise.
Ms. Snodgrass also laid the groundwork out for the next in the series centered around Grace's younger sister Mary-Bell (now called Belle) and the handsome, mysterious preacher with a past, Paul Harrington. I can't wait to get my hands on that story. :-) ...more