This book will never leave my keeper shelf. It had so much poignancy. Kelly is severely abused by her fundamental zealot of a father. She finds some oThis book will never leave my keeper shelf. It had so much poignancy. Kelly is severely abused by her fundamental zealot of a father. She finds some of her mom's old sixties clothes and makes herself up to go out for a night on New Years Eve, and meets Dan. Dan takes her home and has sex with her in a drunken haze. Kelly gets absolutely nothing out of it except an unwanted pregnancy. You can't really hate Dan, because of what he's lost and how he's suffered. He was badly injured and stranded after a plane accident. When he returns, his pregnant fiance has married his best friend. So he loses his fiance and his child in one blow. He's feeling sorry for himself and drinking when he picks up Kelly. She looks older than her eighteen years all made up, so he doesn't realize she is a very innocent virgin. He passes out and wakes up the next morning alone. Weeks later, a scruffy looking teen who looks like she's been beaten up comes to his auto shop and claims she's pregnant and he's the father and asks for money for an abortion. Yes, he probably should have been more responsible and wore a condom. But you will see that he is a man who lives up to his responsibilities. At the same time, you can't judge Kelly for choosing to have an abortion, considering the horrible life she has with zero chances of it improving in any way. It is a scary life to bring a child into.
He won't give the money to her, because he could not fathom losing another child. And this could be his chance to be a father after all. Instead he makes a bargain with her to take care of her until she has the baby. Thankfully, Dan saves Kelly from her abusive father, who really goes off the rails when he realizes his daughter has gotten pregnant out of marriage (aka sinned against God).
This was such a good book. It made me cry for how sad Kelly's life is. And how Dan comes to open his heart again to love after what he lost. He doesn't want to fall in love or feel anything deep for Kelly, but ends up falling deeply for her. He is so kind and loving to her, and she doesn't really know how to accept his care, because of how strict and cruel her father is. There is a twelve year age difference between them, but it didn't bother me because Kelly is very mature for her age because of what she suffered, and Dan is not too old to be a good husband to her.
This is one of my all time favorite contemporary romances, series or otherwise. It has the heart and the soul that I really look for in a good romance. Dan is the lost fiance of the heroine of The Vow (if you want to read that story first).
I loved this romance between Adam and Cammie. He is the family lawyer who marries her so she can keep her grandfather's home away from her greedy cousI loved this romance between Adam and Cammie. He is the family lawyer who marries her so she can keep her grandfather's home away from her greedy cousins. He is self-conscious because of his burns and doesn't think she can love him, but Cammie has loved him from afar for years....more
This book was so cute. I just loved the adversarial relationship between the two in this book. It was so awesome how she called TIM Terrible InfuriatiThis book was so cute. I just loved the adversarial relationship between the two in this book. It was so awesome how she called TIM Terrible Infuriating Monster. And the one liners were awesome. I haven't read this book in a while, but I am sure it's a much better romance than some of the grown up ones I've read. Just a classic book. ...more
This is one of the more intense First Love books. I remember being so drawn in and how intense the feelings were. I think this book is geared towardsThis is one of the more intense First Love books. I remember being so drawn in and how intense the feelings were. I think this book is geared towards older teens who can envision the idea that one might meet the person that one would want to spend a lifetime with. My sister owned the books and I read hers, but she let me have this one and the two sequels. One of my favorites....more
Ah, now this was an interracial romance that left me completely satisfied. The name of this book tell you what you need to know. The characters are 10Ah, now this was an interracial romance that left me completely satisfied. The name of this book tell you what you need to know. The characters are 100% real. They are people you might work with, go to church with, see at the gas station, or stand in line with at the Walmart. And they are people you want to see happy, and to fall in love with each other.
JJ Murray didn't play it safe with this story. The heroine is older than the hero, and in her late thirties. She's a hefty woman. She's the ex-wife of pastor who turned out to be a closeted homosexual. Despite trying to do the right thing, life hasn't treated her very well. She was ostracized by her congregation for leaving her husband. She could have told everyone about his hidden lifestyle, but instead, she took the hit, and is now considered notorious.
Dewey is a struggling single father. He's blue collar, and dealing with the emotional fallout of his life. He's too much in his own head a first to see the value of a relationship with Penny. But her affection and care for his kids, opens his mind and heart to her.
This is one of those books where I feverishly read each scene between Penny and Dewey. They had that kind of chemistry. And it's so refreshing that they're normal. Not movie star or typical romance novel handsome or beautiful. Dewey seems like a real-life hunk. Working class, with hard muscle, but a little bit of padding as well. While the earthiness of the love scenes in Renee and Jay didn't work for me, they work very well in this story. And race was not the issue. Dewey actually had kids with his last girlfriend who was Black. Sadly, she turned out to be a drug addict who abused them. He didn't know about it, because he wasn't allowed to see them. He had to fight to get custody of them. Because of this, he's just plain worn out, and not ready to risk another relationship. Good thing that Penny's able to give him and his girls lots of TLC.
Although I consider this a romance, it's also mainstream fiction, as Penny and Dewey have to deal with inner and outside conflict. They have to grow as people so they can grow as a couple. I found this to be a wonderful book that I didn't want to end. Dewey and Penny are one of those couples you want to look back on to see how they are doing years later. And Dewey's little kids are very cute....more
One of my very first interracials. I'm cheap, but I bought this in harcover, because I was so glad to see an IRR on the fiction shelves. I adored GiovOne of my very first interracials. I'm cheap, but I bought this in harcover, because I was so glad to see an IRR on the fiction shelves. I adored Giovanni (Renee calls him Jay). Renee was somewhat hard to like. She's prickly, abrasive, and rather mean to Jay. She's really bossy to him. I admired his toleration of her. I love strong women, but I don't like bullying women or heroines. That's how Renee came off. I thought the chemistry was good, although the love scenes were a little too earthy for my tastes. They seemed more like sex than lovemaking to me. The storytelling was very good. Definitely will stay a keeper on my IRR shelves, although Renee is nowhere near a favorite heroine of mine....more
I'd probably give this one 4.5 stars. I thought it really was an excellent book, but the whole confict between the Native Americans and the settlers iI'd probably give this one 4.5 stars. I thought it really was an excellent book, but the whole confict between the Native Americans and the settlers is just heartwrenching. I think the characters in this book were driven to their brink in many ways. It was so well-written and I loved it, but because the tragic elements hit so close to home, and this affected my enjoyment factor, it's hard to give it five stars.
There are incidents that occur in this book that I found downright disturbing. Maybe I'm too sensitive, or I read it on a week where my life stress level was too high, but I found it hard to get past some of that.
I take the whole Native American situation deeply personal, partly because that is part of my heritage, but also because I hate persecution and unfairness. I can totally see what drove the Natives to fight back so hard against the settlers, but I can never condone the murder of innocent people on either side. History is brutal and tragic, and it shows that humanity does not have the best motivations. Again and again we see nations and civilizations conquered by cultures that are more powerful in an integral way that allows them to decimate the so-called "weaker culture." It is something that I do not like facing, but unescapable. It's one of the reasons I love historical romance, but at times it is hard to deal with in the scope of a book about a romantic relationship between a couple.
I do love that Clare always presented a balanced perspective. She didn't make the Natives always the good guy and she didn't make the settlers always the bad guys. There were atrocities committed on both sides, as she is unflinching in describing some of those acts in this book.
I found Nicholas and Bethie both to be characters I liked, admired, and wished well for. They were both strong survivors who had gone through hell and back. What they suffered in their lives was almost too much to deal with at times. I love angst, so don't get me wrong, but probably I just read this during the wrong few days where my angst tolerance level was lower. Nicholas was just a delicious hero. I couldn't get enough of him, but I like that he wasn't a perfect, plaster saint. He didn't always do the right thing, although he was deeply principled in his own way. Survival had motivated him for so long, but when it came down to it, his moral compass did not forsake him.
I am curious about Nicholas' parents and his young uncle Jamie, so I hope to read Sweet Release and Carnal Gift soon. Clare definitely is an author that I want to read more of.
--------------------- If you're already a Pamela Clare fan, or interested in learning more about her and her books, be sure to stop by our Pamela Clare Fan Group here on Goodreads! ...more
Great book. Not one that can be read in one sitting, though. I really like the form of narrative, with a story leading into or encompassing another stGreat book. Not one that can be read in one sitting, though. I really like the form of narrative, with a story leading into or encompassing another story. Most of this book is like onion layers. You really do want to have a bookmark handy if you put this one down. This was Scheherazade's tactic to keep King Shahryar's attention so that he couldn't have her executed the next morning. He was a very insane man who hated women to the degree that he would marry a virgin and have her killed the next morning. Fortunately Scheherazade was a very clever woman with a gift for fantastic storytelling. Her plan worked splendidly, as 1001 nights passed and she was still living.
If you are a fan of fairy tales, but haven't really diverted away from the European ones quite yet, this is a good stepping stone. They are filled with the exotic and mystical appeal of the East, but are similar enough to the European tales to maintain that fairy tale appeal.
I'm sure that most people are familiar with some of the staples: Sinbad, Aladdin, Ali Baba, but there are other, less popular, but just as good or better stories in the Arabian Nights that it was a joy to discover for the first time.
This is a shorter version of the Arabian Nights. A good place to start for a beginner or a person with a short attention span (I tend to be like the latter at times). I intend to read the full-length version. Barnes and Noble has a version available Arabian Nights The Book of a Thousand Nights and a Night. It may take me a while, but it gives me something to look forward to. Definitely delve into the Arabian Nights. You won't be sorry when you do. ...more
**spoiler alert** I highly recommend reading this to any fans of the vampire genre. It is a commitment and investment for the reader, but it is worthw**spoiler alert** I highly recommend reading this to any fans of the vampire genre. It is a commitment and investment for the reader, but it is worthwhile. While Dracula is not the 1st vampire novel/story, it has firmly established many of the conventions of the vampire genre. I must say that no movie version I have watched does this justice. Bram Stoker's Dracula might have been a somewhat faithful rendition, but it took unforgivable liberties with the relationship between Mina and Dracula, and downplayed the deep, abiding love between Mina and Jonathan. In addition, it portrayed Dracula as a seductive, lovelorn and sympathetic character. He is none of these. Dracula is a complete and utter fiend. He is unrelenting evil, and I spent this whole book waiting for him to get what he deserved.
I love the use of letters and correspondence to tell the story. It added an authenticity to this story by revealing the narrative through written details of events. One would think that this would create a distance between the reader and the story, but strangely it does not. Instead it infuses the story with a human element, as we see things unfold through the eyes of the humans who witnessed everything. In addition, the diary entries from Jonathan Harker, Mina Murray (soon to be Harker), Lucy Westenra, and John Seward show the emotional impact of the characters to the horror of Dracula.
Dracula is very much a Victorian work. It is clear what the mores were at that time in reading this story. It is also evident how society is changing as time speeds towards the 20th Century (this book was published in 1896). The attitudes towards women as sweet, beloved creatures who should be loved and adored is very much in evidence. However, Mr. Stoker took the time to show that Mina has a powerful role and usefulness beyond what was expected of her as a woman of her times. In fact, she plays a very pivotal role in this story. Because of the connection between Dracula and herself, she cannot be relegated to a second class citizen in this story. In addition, her view of the situation shows much about how Dracula managed to wreak his reign of terror over poor Lucy and how devastated Jonathan was from his early encounter with Dracula. Mina turns out to be a real heroine in this story. She is very resourceful, and her methods are a great help in the process of understanding what Dracula is, and tracking him down. I felt for her when she was under his thrall, because her love for Jonathan was true, as well as her abhorrence of the evil of Dracula and how it had affected her. Those scenes added a psychological component to the horror element in this book.
This book is not a thrill a minute book. It might be a horror story, but it's also a crime novel, in that the group composed of Drs. Van Helsing and Seward, Jonathan and Mina Harker, Quincy Morris, and Arthur Holmwood spend much time trying to track and defeat their prey, Dracula. Readers should approach this story with this in mind. There are some moments that are truly unnerving and scary, all the same, but they are used with good effect. I would be reading right along, and then something really scary would happen all of a sudden. When my heart rate went back to normal and I fell back into the procedural-type narrative, another creepy moment would occur. Thus, my investment of diligent reading paid off, for those scary moments were quite suspenseful.
Readers should also be aware that the characters tend to be along sentimental lines. They are good, decent people. They cry and feel sorrow. The men might be brave, but they are not afraid to break down and sob out their anguish. I admired each of the protagonists that I was supposed to admire: Mina, Jonathan, John/Jack Seward, Van Helsing, Arthur, Quincy, and the poor, unfortunate Lucy. Each of them invest their heart and life into tracking and destroying the beast. This might strike a modern reader as being too good to be true. But in the historical context, I didn't have trouble with it. I might expect different characterizations for a modern vampire novel.
I found that issues that I had with the recent movie adaptations of Dracula did not exist in this novel. Mina is not played as the good, innocent foil for the sexually adventurous and slightly wanton Lucy. Lucy is a sweet girl who was preyed on and destroyed by Dracula. Mina is not a fickle woman who would abandon her true love for the seductive wiles of the vampire Dracula. That always bothered me about the movies. I didn't see why poor Lucy was deserving of what happened to her. Even if she had been a wanton, I couldn't say she deserved her demise at Dracula's hands. Reading about her decline, death and resurgence as a vampire was extremely difficult, not to mention the effect it had on the loved ones she left behind. Additionally, I dislike how throwaway the love that Mina had for Jonathan is portrayed in the movies. I'm glad it was not this way in the book.
Renfield is a character who has been played for laughs in many of the Dracula adaptations and knockoffs. In the original novel, he is a character to be pitied. He was seduced by Dracula, subsequently losing his reason. There are glimpses of his formerly formidable intellect and sanity, as well as a sense of right and wrong that shone through, causing me to feel sorry for him. Particularly when he warns Seward not to keep him in the Asylum. If only Seward had listened.
Drs. Seward and Van Helsing are physicians and men of science with profound respect for each other, but who tend to look at situations differently. Dr. Seward is very much a rationalist. He tries to approach Lucy's strange illness from a completely scientific perspective, yet Dr. Van Helsing is a learned man who is trained in modern medical science (as well as a pioneer in medicine), but gives credence toward the ancient beliefs, and whose knowledge is shored up by his faith in God. The struggle that Seward faces in having to accept that Lucy's demise is due to a powerful supernatural entity is evident as we read his journal entries. Van Helsing is seen through the descriptions of the diary entries of Mina, Jonathan, and Seward. I found Van Helsing quite the character. Without a doubt, he's my favorite in this book, although I found some of his lines hard to read because of the fact that it is written as though English was his second language (which it was). He is a man of compassion, although with a tendency towards bluntness. I like that he's able to think his way out of difficult situations, but also relies on faith against his demonic enemy.
The movies tend to emasculate Jonathan, but he is a very strong character to have survived his imprisionment in Dracula's castle, with his body and his sanity intact. His conviction to protect Mina at all costs, despite knowing the depths of the power of his enemy speaks to me. He might not be a he-man, but he is definitely a worthy man mate for Mina.
Arthur Holmwood is a noble, yet he is not protrayed as a prig. He is very down to earth, and willing to do his part to destroy Dracula and to see justice done for his beloved Lucy. I admit I tended to picture Cary Elwes (an old crush of mine who played Holmwood in Bram Stoker's Dracula) about 50% of the time. He definitely rose to the occasion, despite the seemingly insane ravings of Van Helsing about Un-dead creatures, and the need to drive a stake through the heart and cut off the head of his beloved.
Quincy Morris embodies the Texan spirit in the very best of ways. His devotion to Lucy and later Mina causes him to risk his life in the struggle against Dracula.
Don't look for a sexy creature of the night in this book. Dracula is a horrid, evil beast. When he meets his demise, I didn't feel one iota of sympathy. I was cheering instead. It's refreshing to read about evil vamps without any charisma for once (and this from a paranormal romance fanatic).
This book is a delicious work to have read. I'm glad I attempted it when I could fully appreciate its genius. I freely admit when I read it in high school, I wasn't ready for it. It took me the better part of the week, but I found myself eager to keep reading, despite the somewhat antiquated language. I wanted to see how things would unfold. You might think, "Well Dracula is old hat. I've seen many vampire movies. It's all the same." I'd tell you, not so. You should read this book if you're a vampire fan. You will find a resonance that is lacking in most of the modern vampire fare, with its classic setting, genuine characters, and the tangible essence of the unearthly evil of the vampire. And to think that Stoker wasn't quite as glutted on the rich milk of the vampire legends as us modern vamp fans are. Maybe that's why this book felt so authentic to me....more
Another required read that took me by surprise at how much I enjoyed it. This is a book that delves into the consequences of guilt on a person's psychAnother required read that took me by surprise at how much I enjoyed it. This is a book that delves into the consequences of guilt on a person's psyche. It is very layered in that there are times where you are not sure that what happens is exactly what is perceived. No exactly surreal but written so that there is a little bit of question about supernatural things happening. Such as did Dimmesdale really have that scarlet A branded on his chest from the power of the overwhelming guilt he carried? Is Pearl really a normal little girl or is she a devil child? Is Roger Chillingsworth just a cuckolded husband or is he the true evil in this village? I loved all the unanswered questions and the power of this story. I admired Hester that she didn't break down and was strong in the face of the censure she received because she was a woman and she got pregnant from an adulterous liaison, and therefore couldn't hide her actions. I don't even think the town cared about who the father was. They had their sinner and they tried to make Hester pay for both of their sins. Yes, this story does delve into the puritanical roots of the United States and our love/hate affair with sex, but I think it was timely but lessons can still be learned, even though sexual attitudes have mellowed. Unresolved guilt does have the power to undermine a person. It can be a burden too heavy to bear. This book resonated with me because I believe this message to be true. I also think it criticizes the tendency of groups to be judgmental against an individual who might have deviated from societal norms, or more likely, just got caught doing it. Hands down, this is one of my favorites of the books I had to read in school....more
I totally see this movie as one of those elegant, posh romantic movies that came out in the early 60s. I can hear the lush full orchestra and see theI totally see this movie as one of those elegant, posh romantic movies that came out in the early 60s. I can hear the lush full orchestra and see the beautiful panoramic shots, the sharply-dressed men and the beautifully-dressed woman. Mod furniture and 60s elegant cars everywhere.
This book is set in the 80s, but in my mind, I felt like it was the 60s, except for some of the descriptions of the more over the top 80s disco fashions (yeesh)! I picture Clive Owen as Max and Kate Walsh as Sarah. That's how vivid this book was.
I do admit that Max was a tad too cruel for my tastes. He's one of those people who know just what words to employ to rip you to shreds. I don't like to be around people like that in real life and I find myself flinching when characters in books are like this. Even near the end, he said a few ugly things that I think he deserved a slap for. I don't think falling in love and not wanting to be in love is really an excuse for bad behavior, but there you have it.
Sarah was repressed by her overbearing, possessive artist husband's obsessive jealousy. Now that he's gone, she's retired into a widow's half-life, dressing poorly and not dating. She's good at her job as a personal assistant, and most of her energies are focused there.
When Max, the son of the great fashion designer Sir Richard Wilde, and the lead executive of their family firm, comes down to New Zealand to work for a month and to facilitate the takeover of the magazine, Rags to Riches, it's like a spark on dry kindling.
Max is an alpha hero who happens to be a suave businessman. He's a predator in the boardroom and the bedroom. He's described as drop dead gorgeous, muscular, with an angular face, and intense hazel eyes. He wears his clothes well and is definitely a ladies man. But beneath the fashionable facade, he's sharp as a tack. He hides an inner turmoil after his brush with death in a plane crash. His father sends him to New Zealand to recover emotionally before he gains the chairman of the board position Max covets. I pictured Sean Connery or Rod Taylor as they were in the 60s movies, although Clive Owen is perfect physically and in his demeanor (and also because Max is British).
Max does a lot of needling of Sarah that I felt was downright mean. It seems to bring her out of her shell, there's no question, but it still bothered me. They seem to mix like oil and water. He's used to polished, well-dressed beauties that are sophisticated and conversational. Sarah's very intelligent and perceptive, but is quiet and withdrawn and isn't anything like his usual arm-candy. It makes it all the surprising that they would fall in love with each other (or maybe not). I think from the beginning Max was drawn to her and didn't like it. She wasn't his type, and he didn't want to fall in love or feel intense emotions for a woman who wasn't disposable to him. It's not hard to believe that Sarah would fall for him. He's a ladykiller, and she's a vulnerable widow who's hidden herself away from love and sex for far too long. Sarah falls prey but he gets caught in the trap he sets for her.
Slowly you see the tension building, and this book is really quite sensual in its descriptions of their attraction that heats up to combustible levels, and also in the discussions of art, clothing and food. It's writing that is a feast for the senses. You are totally drawn into this world of high fashion, wining and dining, and beautiful people and clothing. Better yet, you want Sarah to take the plunge back into love and passion with Max, although at the same time, you want Max to get handed his trump card, and to fall deeply in love with Sarah, despite a lack of intentions on his part to do more than to bring the inner passion out and entice her into his bed for his brief stay in New Zealand. Love happens, and it's a painful process for both of them. Yet it's a beautifully-written journey.
This is the way books used to be. Full of passion and descriptions that holds your interest. I was an armchair traveler growing up, reading my Harlequin Romances and Presents, going around the world and seeing the sights, seeing people fall in love. This book brings home all the nostalgia of the old days of romance.
This book illustrates the magic of Susan Napier's writing. I have a feeling that she probably watched all the 60s romance movies and soaked up the delicious atmosphere to fill this book with. In some ways, it sort of reminds me of Marnie with Sean Connery and Tipi Hedren. The adversarial relationship that is ripe with chemistry. Some don't view this movie as romantic, but I find it romantic in an unconventional, albeit dark way. This book is not dark, but it does have an edge in that Max is definitely a cruel hero. His words cut and he does handle Sarah roughly. The ending was very well-down, driving home the 60s romance impression in my brain. It was so vividly written when the couple reunite due to matchmaking by Max's dad. Right out of one of Hitchcock's more romantic movies. Or perhaps a Doris Day movie in one of the more serious moments. It was just gorgeous.
You are probably wondering why I gave it five stars with Max being so mean most of the time. It was so well-written that you wanted them to be together, and when you see this hard as steel, angry man fall at Sarah's feet, and you are not at all surprised.
If you find yourself reading the newer series contemporary romances and feeling that the inner fire of books published by Harlequin long ago is gone, I think you'd like this book.
This is one of my favorite old school Silhouette Intimate Moments. Megan meets and marries an attractive and dashing man on a romantic cruise, and theThis is one of my favorite old school Silhouette Intimate Moments. Megan meets and marries an attractive and dashing man on a romantic cruise, and they marry on the spur of the moment. They spent a few nights in connubial bliss, and when Megan waits for him to meet her on the dock at their return destination, he never shows up.
Megan is devastated, her ability to trust anyone lost forever. She withdraws back into her shell, and lives a half-life. Years later, the man she marries shows up again, but he looks completely different. His name is Taggart Welles, he's a spy, and he's being hunted. And the people after him will not hesitate to kill her as well, since she's his ex-wife. They go on the run to escape Taggart's foes.
This is romantic suspense done well, as the older SIMs were. You feel Megan's pain as she deals with the fact that she fell in love with a lie. She already had trust issues due to her mentally ill/alcoholic, and verbally abusive mother. Taking the cruise was a way for her to start a new life and to live it fully, only to realize that giving one's heart and being betrayed is a special kind of pain. Yet Taggart's feelings were real, but he couldn't stay with her, and thought she was better off without him. Taggart is a good guy, even though he left Megan in the lurch. You can't quite hate him because his motivations were sound, and he regrets the way he hurt Megan. This couple reconnect, but Megan doesn't expect anything lasting from seeing her ex-husband again. Not when she's not willing to give her heart away again.
I love the couple on the run theme, and this book is a stellar book in this genre. I'm really glad I got to read this one, and I was able to find a copy for my keeper shelf....more