I am seriously in love with the Prakenskiis, and I have to say that Maxim is my favorite now. He's a mad, bad, dangerous man but he...moreI loved this book!
I am seriously in love with the Prakenskiis, and I have to say that Maxim is my favorite now. He's a mad, bad, dangerous man but he loves so good! I had no clue that this tough, lethal man that we met at the beginning of this book could be such a sweet, gentle, loving guy to Airiana. I think that is Feehan magic, how she creates this guys who are lethal and ruthless, but then they are so deeply in love with their heroines, that I end up sighing as I read the book. Now this won't work for some readers, but I am such a sucker for the mix of action and suspense and romance, and Feehan has delivered both in such a delicious combination in this book.
I will confess that she's autobuy for me and I didn't even read the synopsis. I was there because I knew it was a Prakenskii hero. I didn't read the blurb until I opened the book to read it, and I was like, 'cool.' So I didn't have much preconceived notions, but I was just in it for the ride, and what a fun, wonderful ride it was.
Most of the book takes place away from Airiana's sisters, but I didn't mind that. I think that the situation was crafted very well to the lead characters. While somethings will always be the same about Feehan's books (but those things are why I read her), the situation felt different in an appealing way. Maxim is in no way a carbon copy of his brothers. And Airiana is also distinctive from her 'sisters'. Despite her air element, she's actually quite cerebral and far from flighty and hippie-chick, like I was suspecting. I liked the backstory of her life and how it ties into Maxim's story. Airiana is a tough young woman. For such a small, delicate person, she can hold her own and she was quite the action heroine in this book. She's really a very cool, down to earth, mature for her age woman. She gets my seal of approval.
I feel that Feehan does a good job of plotting and tying her stories together. and this fits very cohesively into the series. She makes the idea of the 'Sisters of the Heart' all ending up with Prakenskiis a lot more plausible than one would expect. I'll admit that I am fine with it because I can't get enough of these guys.
I liked that the love scenes come later in the book. Considering how dangerous Airiana and Maxim's situation was, it made a lot more sense. I can't stand when they take an inappropriate 'sex break' in romantic suspense novels. When the the love scenes come, they are blisteringly sexy but also very romantic. Although both are wounded, the 'getting busy' part isn't implausible. the love scenes say so much about the love journey of these two characters. You can see how much Maxim cherishes Airiana and you can also see that Airiana truly trusts Max and gives her heart unreservedly. That makes me sigh happily.
There is a really cool twist in this book that I really liked, and it adds to the believability of Maxim settling into a normal life, which he never had because of his family and their tie to the Russian government. There was some horrible tragedy and wrongness in this book, but I think that Max and Airiana were in exactly the right place at the right time and they will make things right.
I really can't say enough good things about this book. I wanted to read it again right after I finished it. Lately, I've felt less sucked into books, and this book certainly breaks that trend for the better. I rejuvenates my romance novel juices and makes me want to go on a reading tear. I have a need for more high octane romance novel action books like this, with a yummy hero and heroine I really like for this long, hot summer I am facing! Please write the next book soon, Ms. Feehan!(less)
Readers who like their contemporary cowboy romance on the spicier side might enjoy this. For me, the book seemed to have an identity crisis as far as...moreReaders who like their contemporary cowboy romance on the spicier side might enjoy this. For me, the book seemed to have an identity crisis as far as its romance genre status. The characters are emotionally all over the place and that was wearing. Overall, pretty good.
Wow. I love this series. Miles has such a duality to his nature: sweet, loving teddybear, and steely, ruthless warrior. Definitely worked for me. Ador...moreWow. I love this series. Miles has such a duality to his nature: sweet, loving teddybear, and steely, ruthless warrior. Definitely worked for me. Adored Lara and the psychic storyline too.
Spring Showers returns to Whispering Cypress River, Louisiana, after a ten-year absence. She left to pursue a career in the big city when thin...moreSynopsis
Spring Showers returns to Whispering Cypress River, Louisiana, after a ten-year absence. She left to pursue a career in the big city when things didn't work out with her childhood sweetheart. She buys the old campgrounds on the river, where some of her happiest memories occurred, determined to fix it up and open it to the public again.
The man she once loved, Hackett Woods has never left, and all this time, he has regretted disappointing her and ruining their chance at a life together. He is determined to make things right with Spring, to win her trust back. They strike a bargain for Hackett to do the restoration work on the property, but Spring is determined to keep the barriers between them and deny any chance for a romantic relationship again. However, the love they felt is still there and stronger than ever.
Not everyone is happy that Spring is back. Spring has a dangerous stalker determined that she won't settle back happily in Whispering Cypress. The path to true love for these reunited lovers is complicated, and they deal with their past hurts, reconcile their lives to their faith in God, and help a troubled young woman with a complicated relationship with Hackett, along the way.
Whispering Cypress was a tough read for me. The writer clearly had good intentions to write a novel about a woman's reunion with her former love and her determination to live a life of faith in Jesus despite all the obstacles she faced. However, the end result was convoluted and rambling. Too many ideas and no clear destination in mind made for unsatisfactory reading. The characters lack depth and realism. Not because of their faith in Jesus, but because of actions that don't make sense in light of the storyline. In addition, the author tackles heavy subjects like alcoholism, adultery, promiscuity and unwed pregnancy, but seems to shy away from writing with clarity and honesty about the actions of the characters that get them into tight moral dilemmas and result in unpleasant results they have to confront. Understandably, Christian fiction has certain standards to maintain as far as content, but I feel that the author could have kept the overall story content clean but still clarify the situations faced by the characters. If there was a motivation on the author's behalf to avoid depicting the darker aspects of human nature, it didn't make sense to introduce them in the first place.
Unfortunately, this novel had promise that strong editing and a more thorough revision process could have refined into a good book. On one hand, it was free of editing and grammar errors. However, the story meandered on with the frequent introduction of conflicts that lacked intensity, and I felt that there was an overall dearth of cohesion and vision to this novella. Continuity errors that a good, thorough review during the editing process should have caught were present, leading to some confusing moments as I read.
I liked the message about faith and personal integrity, and I liked the main characters. I believed in their love for each other. They were good people. However, the villain was too underdeveloped, and seemed more like a stereotypical and one-dimensional antagonist along the lines of Snidely Whiplash than a realistic human character with a lack of moral compass.
Whispering Cypress was ultimately a disappointing read. It has a good message, but lacked in the execution. Because I liked the main characters and the message, I was able to give this two and ½ stars, but the writing quality wasn't very good, so I couldn't rate it any higher than that, unfortunately.
I want to thank Shawna for recommending this book to me. In all honesty, I am not a huge fan of Nora Roberts' romance novels, although I do like her J...moreI want to thank Shawna for recommending this book to me. In all honesty, I am not a huge fan of Nora Roberts' romance novels, although I do like her JD Robb In Death series. While this book didn't change my opinion of her on convert her to a must-read author for me, I enjoyed this book, and I can see she is a very good writer. Having said that, I don't find her romance style very moving personally. As far as suspense, she definitely works better for me.
This novel feels like an odyssey. It starts with a very young, innocent teenage girl whose rigidly structured, emotionally vacant life is completely destroyed by one bad decision she makes out of rebellion. Nora Roberts invests us in the emotional and intellectual journey of this young woman, and I completely felt for and loved young Elizabeth. This was highly crucial to go back to when things went pear-shaped so that we could relate to the older version of this character, who is now living as Abigail Lowery.
What didn't work quite as well as the diversion that the storyline takes with the Blake family and their out-of-control son. While this was more germane to Brooks Gleason's (Abigail's love interest) narrative, I don't think it really tied very well into the main plot of Abigail, what and who she was running from, and I'm not sure it was that important to Brooks' characterization. Even at the end, I wasn't convinced that it was necessary to the story. More than anything, it was just added local color.
The romance part mostly worked for me, but it didn't set the page on fire. Roberts idea of romance just isn't dramatic enough for me. Even the sensual scenes didn't have much spark for me. I could see the love between Abigail and Brooks, and I really liked how Brooks was willing to be there for her and to be whatever she needed him to be. Although at the same time, Brooks could be quite obstinate and set in his ways kind of guy and forceful (in an aww-shucks, disarming but I'm a brickwall manner) about getting his way in situations. He was like a immovable mountain about some things, and Abigail had to be the one who changed her viewpoint in those areas. It was funny and kind of cute how he pushed Abigail out of her unemotional/controlled, Fortress of Solitude mien and left her completely discombobulated. I can see their marriage being very interesting, considering the way their personalities are so different. Where Abigail is the analytical, rule-oriented person, Brooks is very instinctive, and emotional. At the same time, he's a very steady guy who you know you can trust. That's highly appealing. I do feel like they were able to meet each other halfway and didn't steamroll each other, which was good. So I could believe they were a perfect match.
Ultimately, what I loved most of all is how Brooks was perfectly fine with earning his way in Abigail's insular life by letting his actions show he was trustworthy and that deserved her love. He also didn't try to take away Abigail's need to make decisions and autonomy in her life, because he knew how important that was. Sometimes, I imagine it was hard for him not to take it personally, but he looked past his own feelings to the whys and was willing to give her that and support her on things she really needed.
As for Abigail, I think loving Brooks helped her to grow in crucial ways. For her to know it was okay not to understand the rules for everything, and to just go with the flow emotionally in relationships that were based on mutual trust. I think the O'Hara/Gleason clan will be good for Abigail, but I think I would find them overwhelming at times. They are quite pushy! I can't imagine Abigail not feeling that way based on her previous familial frame of reference.
The Volkov storyline was very intriguing, but I was left feeling a little disappointed at the conclusion. The resolution made sense, but I was hoping for a more face to face confrontation. I guess that's the action/drama hound in me. I guess that was the best way to handle it, but man I would have loved some buttkicking and a show off. Abigail was kind of a bad@$$, but she never got to show it. Oh well.
Overall, this was a good read.
Things I loved:
*Such a brilliant, analytical, heroine *Brooks' laid back, but Bulldoggedly stubborn personality and his southern charm. *The descriptions and imagery built by Roberts writing. *Russian mafia storyline and how Abigail continually gets one over on them *Crazy O'Hara/Gleason family dynamics--like watching reality tv *Abigail's dog Bert *Small town slice of life
I enjoyed this romantic suspense novel from Beverly Barton, who passed away not too long ago (may she rest in peace, leaving the literary world with m...moreI enjoyed this romantic suspense novel from Beverly Barton, who passed away not too long ago (may she rest in peace, leaving the literary world with many of her wonderful books as a legacy). The mystery was well done, and so was the developing relationship between Julia and Will. I'd recommend it to romantic suspense readers.