There was something about this book that pulled at me. I knew going in that there would be a lot of POVs and once I reconciled that fact, I was a...more3.678
There was something about this book that pulled at me. I knew going in that there would be a lot of POVs and once I reconciled that fact, I was able to enjoy the story.
Getting past the overlapping stories (sometimes the reader would go back a few skips in time in order to tie everything together) and the repetitive information (when you work with a ton of POVs I suppose it's necessary), I really fell for the characters.
Everything centers on Reagan; last name unknown until she walks into the Blue Moon diner in Harmony, Texas, a place she had heard about from a woman that has died. The town called to her, she reflects in the first few pages. A place to call home. She decides to take the name of the woman she had formed a bond with and becomes "Truman".
Through her we meet Hank Matheson - the volunteer Fire Chief, Alex McAllen, the hard and flawed sheriff and Jeremiah Truman, a man she will claim as Uncle if he'll claim her.
As Reagan discovers what family means, what friendship can do and what love ultimately is, we get a glimpse into the heart of Harmony. Every person we meet, from the lonely but kind funeral director (Tyler Wright), to the gypsy blooded Stella McNabb and Noah McAllen, Alex's younger brother and boy on the cusp of manhood, is part of the town and the story. They all bring elements that wouldn't have worked as well with one narrator. There are layers here and each layer needs a voice. Each voice brings a perspective that completes the whole.
This is coming from the person who is not that big of a fan of multiple POVs.
There are subplots that make up a plot in this story. Hank and Alex (short for Alexandra) have a history that is rife with pain due to the fact the only thing that have in common is the murder of Warren McAllen; Hank's best friend and Alex's older brother. Alex holds a debilitating guilt that is breaking her more than helping her and her path of self-destruction collides with Hank's more often than not. Hank sees her as the little kid he's always known but also a woman. Alex seems to hate him and Hank keeps coming back. At first you can't tell if he's a masochist or if he really loves Alex. Or if Alex is just a selfish stone cold bitch or if she's almost damaged beyond repair.
As the story progresses, you see the complexity of the characters and your heart goes out to them. I still see Hank as the more sympathetic of the two, I have some issues with Alex that will be carried on to the next book, but you warm up to both of them and through them you see the harder heart of Harmony.
Tyler Wright's story is just so pathetic, heart-warming and brave that you have to read it. I think there's a soft spot for Mr. Wright in my heart.
Noah McAllen is a fresh voice and a boy on the verge of becoming a man. He and Reagan are both 16 and while Reagan has been hardened by life, Noah is open and warm. Perhaps if Reagan had been born in Harmony maybe this is what would've happened. Noah is tied to the land, like Hank and Ol' Jeremiah Truman and he wants nothing more to stay on his homestead and build it into a working ranch like Hank's. Like the Matheson's and the Trumans, the McAllen's are one of the three families that settled the town. Harmony was willed to the three families by Harmony Ely, a man waiting for his family to show.
Noah is also a cowboy. He's a rodeo man and he's not that great at first but he wants to get better. With his determination, it's easy to see how he brings out Reagan's warmer side. His ardent devotion to Reagan is cute but it's also a bit sad because well, while Reagan is the same age, she is mentally about twenty years older. We don't know too much about Reagan's past but the fact that she never wants to date and is scared, at first, that Noah will turn into a "werewolf" if they are alone at night, she's had some bad experiences.
Being so damn resilient and adorable, Noah respects the boundaries but also tries to help her conquer her fears.
I'm holding out for Noah and Reagan because he's just so damn adorable. Seriously, I would've loved a friend like him as a kid.
There is a mystery here, a crisis that brings people and the town together. In the end, the town triumphs (how could it not) and to be honest, the mystery is really only there to show how a town can be brought together.
All in all, this book has some issues but nothing that will stop you from reading. It's engrossing and engaging and if you're the sentimental type, you may even find your eyes leaking :D(less)
Cute, light and sweet. Could've used a bit more depth but still a great beach read.
Though I liked Hayley, her worrying made me anxious. It seems li...more3.7
Cute, light and sweet. Could've used a bit more depth but still a great beach read.
Though I liked Hayley, her worrying made me anxious. It seems like she has some undiagnosed anxiety issues. Also, while I really like her character I think that she may have forgiven Finn a bit too quick in terms of her character.
As for Finn, I understand why he did what he did (professionally at least) but I think maybe he should've hinted at something a lot sooner (other than that vague warning at the beginning). Other than that, he was a nice pairing with Hayley. The ganache to her yellow cake. I do wish there had been a bit more development with him especial in terms of exploring his relationship with Tommy.
All in all, if this were a cake it would be a light vanilla cake with a buttercream frosting with caramel drizzle.(less)
Meh, not as interesting as I hoped. It's supposed to be a romance but it's more like a women's fiction. It would have been fine if it that was how it...moreMeh, not as interesting as I hoped. It's supposed to be a romance but it's more like a women's fiction. It would have been fine if it that was how it marked. I was a little bored at times to be honest and felt that Grant wasn't developed enough as a main for be to get excited over. The book was honestly more about the relationship between Dallas and the indomitable Berry.
The story wasn't too bad but not what I expected but I can't wait until I read about Steffie and Wade(less)
I'll be honest, I usually love Jo Goodman but there was something off about this book. I couldn't tell what it was but there was something just slight...moreI'll be honest, I usually love Jo Goodman but there was something off about this book. I couldn't tell what it was but there was something just slightly left of center.
Like knowing that you need to add an ingredient to a dish but not knowing which one.
Thea annoyed me at first, and I'll be honest, I do not like her name. Even with all of her issues I still found her bland. Mitch was a bit of a hothead but I still came away with him being my favorite character.
These are 'original' fairy tales and one of them is actually set in Galenorn's witchy world.
The first story wasn't so bad but I didn't feel that any o...moreThese are 'original' fairy tales and one of them is actually set in Galenorn's witchy world.
The first story wasn't so bad but I didn't feel that any of these women were kick ass and neither did I think that any of the stories were that good. Yes, every man was a misogynist and the patriarchal society was very anti-woman but still, I didn't feel that the woman rose to the top.
Ah well...don't read it if you don't have to and if you do, make sure you get it cheap.(less)
The first half of this book had me severely contemplating smacking the heroine upside the head. She's a doctor, she's smart, amiable and a good person...moreThe first half of this book had me severely contemplating smacking the heroine upside the head. She's a doctor, she's smart, amiable and a good person but her actions were sooo stupid.
Millie wasn't a fully developed person until about 3/4 of the way through the book and thank god for that because while she sometimes irritated me, I felt she deserved better and by the end of the book, she got what she deserved.
This was a book where the leads were absolutely right for each other but they didn't dance around each other so we got to know both of them and their relationship. I liked watching the relationship evolve but could've done without the soap opera climax.
Higgins has a gift for side characters and I have to admit that I liked Danny and Katie.
You can tell that this book was her debut and it's not a bad one at that, if this had been the first Higgins books I'd read (this is the third) I'd still continue. She has a way of writing women who can be charming, self-deprecating and relatable. I might not always relate (and Callie Grey is still my favorite so far) to the characters but I do manage to enjoy them. (less)
I might have liked Gabe if Virginia hadn't been there.
To me the heroine was unlikeable and boring, a mishmash of other boring heroines with just a das...moreI might have liked Gabe if Virginia hadn't been there.
To me the heroine was unlikeable and boring, a mishmash of other boring heroines with just a dash of self-righteousness in order to give her a reason to interact with our hero. She's mouthy (and not in a good way), stubborn, wilfully ignorant and a snot. I don't really care what her reason for being a jerk to Gabe and his family was I couldn't get past her attitude.
Gabe could've been so much more exciting but instead he's saddled with the baggage of Virginia Waverly and good lord it was enough to make me bang my head against a wall. I couldn't even get into the love scenes because I didn't care about her.
Anyway, there is still a thin mystery plot going on in the background and things may just get interesting.
The story ends like it should, with a happy ever after/crisis averted scenario and it was so bland and boring that I probably should've put it down and went back to Miranda or Jarret's book.
I've always liked Pinter and I've always known who he was meant for so the romance and the plot will be better in the next one.(less)
Pretty good book about a forty-one year International Journalist Manhattanite mother, Zoe , of a ten year old dyslexic, Maya, who moves to upstat...more3.7.
Pretty good book about a forty-one year International Journalist Manhattanite mother, Zoe , of a ten year old dyslexic, Maya, who moves to upstate New York for a better school to help with her daughter's problems. It's told in two pov's and the other one is John 'Mack' Mackenna, a local thirty-one year old man who has come back from a tour in Iraq to work as a volunteer EMT and a driving instructor.
They both have their own issues to deal with and to be honest, Mack was the more interesting character.
I noted the ages because through the story you can tell which one is older and a little more sure of themselves but also because it is brought up a few times. It didn't really need to be but it was.
This book is pretty much about independence and healthy dependence, about learning to give up the ghosts of the past and about learning that not everything goes according to plan. There's also a little bit of prejudice thrown in (not racist but cultural - in the sense that Zoe is a bit of a Manhattan snob).
Maya is a fun kid and her words are believable. It's sometimes hard to write a smart kid without making them sound forty-seven but here, it works.
Mack and Zoe have a flirtation and it deepens as he becomes her chauffeur and then her driving instructor. There is a clash between the two of them and for that I blame Zoe more than Mack, but you'll have to see.
This book could've been better by giving us a little more back-story into Zoe as well as a better ending. I was a little unsatisfied by the last paragraph of the book because while Zoe has changed, it almost seemed like she went right back to the Zoe at the beginning of the book.(less)
Very nice ending to the Quartet, however, I didn't have the same connection with Parker that I did with Mac and Laurel or even...moreCute and made me "squee"
Very nice ending to the Quartet, however, I didn't have the same connection with Parker that I did with Mac and Laurel or even Emma. I wish we had gotten a little deeper into her character and why she was the way she was. What made her so insanely organized? What made her so guarded? Why does she feel insecure?
There was a lot of the Nora Roberts dialogue and my favorite scenes are with Mal and his mother.
Like Emma's book, Parker flips out on the wrong things. (view spoiler)[ When Mal comes to her because he's upset, and knowing he's not a talkative person about his issues, she kicks him out because he's not opening up to her when it was clear from the second he walked in the door that something was hurting him. Way to go Parks. I get that you need to know and control everything but take it down a notch. You love the guy but you can't get over your own shit for a second? Like Mal said, "not everything is about you"." (hide spoiler)]. Mal is definitely the better character and his POV is interesting and down to earth. I like Parker but I wanted her, no needed her, to loosen up and get her head out of her own ass. She gets better toward the end but the whole way through the book I looked forward to Mal's scenes and POV's.
The girl's themselves have been relegated to the background, as is customary, but Laurel still manages to steal the scenes she's in. Mac is a close second. I like Emma but she's too sweet to steal anything :)
Like all the books, this is a book about home and foundations and love. There were times when the wedding stuff got to be too much. Unlike the other books, there was too much detail in this one.
I laughed during Mac's wedding scene because I got married very similar to her. The whole nervous about tripping instead of getting married. I was a hell of a lot less "girlie" but I found that Mac was the one I identified with most throughout this series.
A definite read if you like weddings, Nora Roberts and Type A's who fall for the Bad Boy.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
To me, reading anything by Sarah Addison Allen is like wrapping yourself in a warm blanket on your couch or chair in your most comfortable position wh...moreTo me, reading anything by Sarah Addison Allen is like wrapping yourself in a warm blanket on your couch or chair in your most comfortable position while drinking a warm cup of tea, or eating your favorite chocolate. It hits the spot and makes you feel good.
The Peach Keeper is another stellar book in Allen's repetoire. As usual it centers on love, friendship, connections and finding your place in the world. The only complaint was I wish that (view spoiler)[ Willa and Colin's romance was as deep as Sebastian and Paxton, I felt like Colin couldn't have possibly gotten over his expectations and denials that quickly (hide spoiler)].
At the root of this book the thread is relationships. This was a lovely book that was at turns unexpected and heartfelt.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I don't know what I think about this book. I wanted to smack Zack several times and also slap Sadie. I mean, if you think your man is stepping out on...moreI don't know what I think about this book. I wanted to smack Zack several times and also slap Sadie. I mean, if you think your man is stepping out on you...then do something! Just don't jump to conclusions, get some straightforward answers like you did last book.
Also - if a crazy ghost is trying to kill you I would love for you to ignore that one and not the one that needs your help!
Everyone was a little messed up and out of character in this book without any real reason. It doesn't help that each book takes place a year apart. I mean, come on now Ms. Roberts - why mess up something that wasn't broken to begin with, without any good reason for it?(less)