I didn't want to put this book down to go to work (and I work in a library, so that's saying something - lol). I loved the relationship that the thre I didn't want to put this book down to go to work (and I work in a library, so that's saying something - lol). I loved the relationship that the three main women had - Cathy and Marty and twin's, and admit that they are two halves of a whole - opposite in everyway - and Trixie has been their best friend since they were little. Their momma's were best friends before them. They will stand up to anyone and anything to have each other's back, but at the same time they give each other enough space to make the right decision before stepping in. Notice I said "right" decision? Because if they don't make the right one - you can be sure they are gonna hear about it!
They share most of life's victories and secrets with each other - each holding a little something back that they have not shared with anyone. But like in any small town, usually someone knows something about it. There is much gossip here - some true, most not - but all of it sure to bring a smile to your face.
I had recently watched parts of an old movie "Something to Talk About" with Julia Roberts, Kyra Sedgewick and Dennis Quaid. I couldn't help but picture Julia and Kyra in the role of the twins in this book. (But after reading her cast of characters in her interview, I like them much better. And I love Shirley MacLaine as Aunt Agnes!) It would make a great series on T.V. as you know when you put the book down that the gossip in town isn't going to end!
Like they say, everything is big in Texas, and they go over the top with it all - good food, gossip, politicians, cheating husbands, loyalty, family, friendship. This was a feel good book for me and I look forward to reading more by Carolyn in this new genre for her! Great job!...more
Ok, I am officially a Georgette Heyer fan. I admit that I did not like the mystery that I read, Why Shoot a Butler? - but I am not really a big fan ofOk, I am officially a Georgette Heyer fan. I admit that I did not like the mystery that I read, Why Shoot a Butler? - but I am not really a big fan of that genre as a whole. This one, on the other hand, was delightful. The characters were charming and at times a little outrageous - especially for the time period. Like in the very beginning when Horatia takes it upon herself to visit Lord Rule and ask him to marry her in place of her sister Lizzie. And of course, she does all this behind her family's back. Horry proceeds to become the Earl's wife and quickly becomes the toast of the town. She is burdened with a stammer and I got the impression that as the youngest Winwood she was not always taken seriously. Once she becomes a wife, and a wealthy one at that, she lets nothing stand in her way to do whatever she feels she wants to - including catching the eye of Lord Lethbridge. I believe she pursues him only because everyone warns her to stay away from him - and he uses her as a pawn because of his dislike of the Earl. If you are a fan of Jane Austen type romances - and haven't yet tried Georgette Heyer - pick this one up soon. Sourcebooks is reissuing a slew of Georgette Heyer books - mysteries, romances and historical fiction. A whole new generation will be able to appreciate these works!...more
This was a wonderful book! It really hit home learning that a Christian marriage and family can also have misunderstandings to the point that a personThis was a wonderful book! It really hit home learning that a Christian marriage and family can also have misunderstandings to the point that a person doesn't feel loved. Marilyn was so strong to finally walk out, after who knows how many months or years of trying to get her husband's attention. She moves in with a single christian woman and starts working at a local gift shop. One day at lunch, she meets an elderly woman, Audrey, who used to own the local dance studio. It is because of this meeting that she decides to take dance lessons.
Meanwhile, Jim also meets Audrey one evening after a confrontation with Marilyn outside that dance studio. Audrey talks to him a little about his troubles with Marilyn and convinces him to let her give him private dance lessons. Jim hates dancing so much, he wouldn't even dance with Marilyn at their wedding! Audrey uses these dance lessons to also start to teach Jim about relationships. The Dance is very much a metaphor for life and how we relate to other people.
I enjoyed this book so much, that I order The DNA of Relationships by Gary Smalley this afternoon. I can't wait to share it with my husband....more
This was the opposite side of the coin from The Truth About Vampires that I reviewed yesterday. It was the dark, seamier side of being a vampire - comThis was the opposite side of the coin from The Truth About Vampires that I reviewed yesterday. It was the dark, seamier side of being a vampire - complete with lots of gore, violence, and sex. The majority of the story takes place in a little seaside town called Dunwich. This is where Susan and her brother Peter were living when he was killed. She had since moved away, but when Devin reentered her life they wound up back in Dunwich. It was not the Dunwich she remembered though, and I loved the was Ms. Burgess made you feel like you were in a deserted town that was filled with transients, lost souls, druggies. . .very dystopian. Like many seaside towns it is complete with an amusement park, long since deserted, which contains creepy aspects all by itself.
She fills you in with just enough of the past through flashbacks to leave you wanting to know more about the main characters and how they became the people or things that they are in the present. As this is just the first book in the series though, she doesn't give you everything. There is still a lot of history between Kasper and Devin that is unknown.
I liked Susan's character and how she changed through out the course of the book. In the beginning she was just a young college kid looking for a good time - which inevitably led to her brother's death. Now, years later, if you didn't look too close, you would think that she had a pretty good life and relationship with her live-in, Michael. Underneath though, she still seemed to be drifting, never really getting passed Peter's death.
When Devin resurfaces after all this time, it doesn't appear that she willingly goes with him, but that he forces her hand. I think she was just looking for an excuse to leave her mundane life and try to figure out where she fit. I see her becoming stronger throughout the book and beginning to embrace her new lifestyle - to go from just surviving to actually fighting to survive. ...more
When Noelle commits suicide, seemingly out of the blue, her two best friends try to uncover the Noelle they thought they knew. The face Noelle presentWhen Noelle commits suicide, seemingly out of the blue, her two best friends try to uncover the Noelle they thought they knew. The face Noelle presented to the world was that of midwife, supporter of causes - especially ones involving babies, good friend to Tara and Emerson - was not the true Noelle. For years she has had to deal with the guilt of something she was responsible for - a secret that no one else knew.
After finding a partial letter that Noelle had written before she died, Tara and Emerson set out on a path to try to figure out their best friend. The story is told from different points of view, but comes together beautifully. This was a book that I did not want to put down. I thought I had it figured out, but in the end, I was wrong.
This is a great book exploring the relationships between mothers and daughters, and between women in general. Again - this would be a great book club pick. If you haven't read anything by Diane Chamberlain - this would be a good place to start! ...more
This was a very quick read and beautifully written. I like the way all the stories intertwined with these families. How Jane is now friends with the wThis was a very quick read and beautifully written. I like the way all the stories intertwined with these families. How Jane is now friends with the woman who was her father's mistress 50 years before - and her daughter and Ada's son are flirting with an attraction that is growing between them. The three women - Ada, Jane and Marne - play the larger roles in this story and while the men they love (or who love them) figure in to the story, it is the women who you learn the most about. While the story could not happen without them, these men seem sometime incidental. It gives the impression that life, love, family, history is all moved forward or sometimes stilted based on the women.
A lot of the story is learned as Ada and Jane play their weekly game of Scrabble. The words played or changed hint as to what lies in the past. As to the murder of Luce, it had never been solved, though the women each had their beliefs as to what happened. It isn't the only mystery/secret that is discovered through the course of the book though. One secret was obvious to me - the other was a secret until the end!
I haven't yet read Hybrid, but after reading Amanda's Story I am really looking forward to it. The book actually starts out in Pakistan with the crea I haven't yet read Hybrid, but after reading Amanda's Story I am really looking forward to it. The book actually starts out in Pakistan with the creation and theft of a new, never-before-seen virus that has the makings of being a terrorist's dream virus. It is from that start that we meet Amanda and learn that she has recently lost her husband and young son in a plane crash. She is having a hard time moving forward and seems to be stuck in her grief.
She goes to Honduras with the Red Cross on a rescue mission, but it turns into much more. She watches her colleagues succomb to the virus that is rampant there, and becomes the survivor that now needs to be rescued. But that is only the beginning. She is placed in quarantine, as they are trying to figure out why she has survived. Having been through so much in the last year - losing first her family, and then her co-workers is enough to change anybody - but throw in a deadly virus and you are bound to find yourself in a new place - not just physically, but mentally, psychologically, as well.
This was a great page turning read and I really felt for Amanda. While not really being able to relate to her story, she was very easy to sympathize with. She has some great friends in the book that were fun to read about and I would love to have in-laws like she does. I am not sure if it is necessary to read this book before Hybrid, but it would definitely not be a waste of time!...more
This is the second book in the Lost Souls series and while she does give you a lot of information to fill in some of the blanks if you haven't read t This is the second book in the Lost Souls series and while she does give you a lot of information to fill in some of the blanks if you haven't read the first book, I am really glad that I had. (Check out my review of Chosen Ones.) There may be some spoilers from Chosen Ones in my review below.
Naturals picks up where Chosen Ones left off - Tess has finally escaped Templeton, with her childhood friend Henry and brother-in-law Robert, but she has left behind the two people she loves most - her younger sister Louisa and James, the chosen one that awoke in her all the feelings that the Council had tried to snuff out.
Tess is on the run because it has been discovered that she is actually fertile and would be able to live if she were to get pregnant. In the wasteland that has become the U.S. after the wars, women have lost the ability to bear children. Her own sister, Emma, died in childbirth, and so she has seen in first hand. The Council would like nothing more than for the 'natural' human race to die out. They have no need for them since they have started creating the perfect 'chosen ones.' Both races have been taught to hate the other one, but somehow James and Tess got past those early lessons.
Now Tess is in the midlands at an Isolationist community, and is finding that prejudices run deep both ways. That even in this 'free' community, there are still those in power who want to take away the rights of some. She does discover though that there is another one like her, able to have kids, living in the community. That is pretty much the only thing they have in common though. Sharon has had 8 children, though only 5 have lived. Tess is pretty sure that she doesn't want to become another Sharon. She can't imagine having sex with any man who wants to try to have a child. Tess is pretty standoffish with her and doesn't understand why Sharon keeps going out of her way to help her.
Then there is Lockwood. Tess is partnered up with him to learn what her job in the community is going to be - milking cows and taking care of other livestock. Lockwood turns out to be a really good friend to Tess, proving that men and women can just be friends. Tess's friendship with Henry is more complicated than that. She doesn't think she will ever see James again, and having Henry close is reminding her of all the feelings that she had for James and awakening desires that she is not sure she wants.
I loved this book and flew through it in a day. I can't wait for the third book as this one leaves you hanging on wanting more!...more
Where to start. . . I did enjoy this novel very much - especially the sections that pertained to Josephine. I really liked her character and was movedWhere to start. . . I did enjoy this novel very much - especially the sections that pertained to Josephine. I really liked her character and was moved by her story. She was a slave, but had been chosen as a house girl for LuAnne Bell. Her life was seemingly full of contradictions. Even though she was a slave, she lived a different life as a house girl, even getting to paint and express herself. Though the credit for her much of her work was given to LuAnne, I am not sure she was looking for credit for her work - she was looking for a new life.
Lina, on the other hand, seemed, if not content with her life, at least in a place that she wasn't ready to "stir the pot". She still lived with her father, and yet was an associate in a big law firm. Her mother had been killed when she was just a little girl, and I think this was part of the reason that she still lived with her father. It was in that house that she could remember what little she did about her mother. There was a mystery surrounding her death because her father never really wanted to talk about it with her - so being so young when she died - she didn't really know what happened.
As she starts to research Josephine's life and to see her struggles, a series of events in her own life seem to awaken her need for a change as well. I think it was learning about Josephine, and how she never gave up to be free makes her realize she has just been drifting along in her own life - waiting for something to happen rather than going out and finding it. She starts to see the people in her father's (and mother's previous) life in a new light. Questioning what she thought to be the truth, forces a confrontation with her father that was far too long in happening.
Filled with interesting characters, to me, this book explores how relationships with family and others, have an influence on our lives and the choices that we make. Would Josephine have done the same things had she not been a house girl? Would her life have been different is she would not have been close to Lu Anne Bell? And Lina, if her father would have shared things about her mother when she was younger, how would that have influenced Lina's choices in life, and would her father have been able to let things go earlier than he did? I think this book would be a great choice for a book club read as there are so many things you could discuss and explore. ...more
Lola and Dougie were very much in love. Though only 17 and 18, they had promised each other forever. This changed in the blink of an eye. Dougie's motLola and Dougie were very much in love. Though only 17 and 18, they had promised each other forever. This changed in the blink of an eye. Dougie's mother was not a big fan of Lola's. She didn't think that Lola belonged in her son's "privileged" life, so she offers Lola 10,000 pounds to leave Dougie and convince him that it is over. Lola is outraged and is bound and determined to tell Dougie what kind of mother he has. Before she has a chance to speak with him, her circumstances change and she is forced to accept his mother's bribe.
Now, 10 years later she is working as a bookstore manager and living in Notting Hill. Coming to the aide of a woman in distress manages to land her face to face with her old love. Can she fan the flames and reignite his desire for her? Or will the truth of what she did keep them apart forever?
This is a great chick-lit book! The story has a host of secondary characters that are just as entertaining as Lola. They also each have their own story to add to the mix! We have Blythe, Lola's fashion-challenged mother; Malcolm- Blythe's monopoly-loving boyfriend; Gabe - the neat-freak, next door neighbor - who also happens to be Lola's best friend; Sally - Dougie's sister and Gabe's eventual flatmate - and she is as messy as Gabe is neat. Let's not forget Dougie himself and his current girlfriend Isabel - who is both beautiful and intelligent. Throw in a couple of celebrities and a long lost relative and you have a delightful read. I found this book hard to put down. If you like Sophie Kinsella, I think you will like Jill Mansell. ...more
This was another fun read from Jill Mansell. Again, her cast of characters are so loveable that you want them to be your friends! Miranda's life seemsThis was another fun read from Jill Mansell. Again, her cast of characters are so loveable that you want them to be your friends! Miranda's life seems to be a mess - but she is surrounded by many friends who love her and care about her - from her landlady Florence, her boss at the hair salon, Fenn and her best friend Bev. Even though she seems to have her share of bad luck when it comes to men, it seems that everyone who comes in contact with her is instantly taken in by her warm and giving personality.
Miranda befriends a homeless man who sits outside the salon - she gives him half her lunch whenever she sees him - and even goes so far to give him money for tea and a scarf and gloves. Of course, the gloves were left at the salon by a client, and after waiting weeks to take them and give them to this homeless man, the client phones up and wants them back! This sort of tells you how her life in general seems to go. How would you feel if you had to go back to a homeless man just minutes after giving him a warm pair of gloves and tell him that you needed them back?
After Miranda finishes with Greg, the soon-to-be ex-husband baby-daddy of her new flatmate, she decides that she is happy just as she is - until, of course, she catches the eye of a very handsome, very well-known race car driver. How fast can she fall for him?
I have really been enjoying Jill Mansell's books. If you missed my review of An Offer You Can't Refuse you should really go check it out too. I also did an interview with Jill Mansell - just click on her name. I am really excited to tell you she is going to have a fall release also - Millie's Fling! Watch for details. ...more
In chapter 2, when we first meet Dona (Lady Dona st. Columb) she appears to be a selfish, spoiled brat. Running away from London, from her husband, frIn chapter 2, when we first meet Dona (Lady Dona st. Columb) she appears to be a selfish, spoiled brat. Running away from London, from her husband, from her life - which she felt was smothering her. She was looking for escape. She did not like the woman she had become and was afraid that that was all there was to her life. She travels to Navron, their country estate, of which she has not seen in over 6 years. With her in her escape are her 2 children and their nanny, Prue.
She settles into life at Navron very easily and enjoys the solitude and the quiet that it brings her. On one of her walks she discovers a creek that flows through the trees on the property. Before she knows it, she has been taken 'prisoner' by a pirate whose ship is docked in her creek. This pirate is the Frenchman.
They soon realize that they are very much alike in their search for escape and adventure. Their unlikely friendship quickly turns to love. The Frenchman has been plundering many of Dona's neighbors and relieving them of their treasures. These neighbors finally band together, putting out the call to Harry, Dona's husband in London, as well as others to come and help catch this pirate.
What will Dona choose? Her new life as a pirate with the man who has become more important to her than she could have ever guessed? Or her husband and children and a life in London that seems stifling? With either choice comes loses that will be hard to bear. Which would you choose?
My thoughts: I loved this book. For some reason I tend to avoid books that were published before I was born. I am not sure why this is, as I always seem to enjoy them. Maybe because many of these were books or authors that we were "supposed" to read in school.
After reading the first chapter of The Frenchman's Creek, I didn't know how I was going to make it through the book. Before I knew it, I was so caught up in the story that I did not want to put it down.
Her writing is so easy and flowing that it was wonderful to read -
The wheel of La Mouette lifted under her hands, and the ship heeled over in the freshening breeze, and all this, she thought, is part of what we feel for each other, and part of the loveliness of living, the strength that lies in the hull of a ship, the beauty of sails, the surge of water, the taste of the sea, the touch of the wind on our faces, and even the little simple pleasures of eating, and drinking, and sleeping, all these we share with delight and understanding, because of the happiness we have in one another. (p162)
I have owned My Cousin Rachel, Rebecca, and Jamaica Inn for at least 15 years and have not read them. I am definitely going to read them after enjoying Frenchman's Creek so much! ...more
This was such a fun read! Taycee was such a down-to-earth girl-next-door type - and she gets coerced into being the town bachelorette on a webshow to This was such a fun read! Taycee was such a down-to-earth girl-next-door type - and she gets coerced into being the town bachelorette on a webshow to try to raise money to help the local farmers. Of course this happens just days after her girlhood crush, Luke, moves back to town after a ten year absence. Wondering whether or not she will be able to get over him this time, she volunteers his name in the hat to be bachelor 21 before she finds out that she is the unwilling bachelorette. Never one to want the spotlight, she now not only has it, but also has 21 bachelors vying for her attention!
Well, you can see how this can become humorous quickly. Taycee doesn't actually get to choose which bachelors stay - that honor falls to the viewers who for $1 can cast a vote for the bachelor of their choice - but will it be Taycee's choice as well?
As Taycee and Luke relive some old high school memories, when Luke was Taycee's big brother's best friend, she is also setting him up to be voted off the show. Which bachelor will be the last man standing? You will have to read it to find out!
I loved the tension between Taycee and Luke as well as the misunderstandings. I just wanted to shake Luke and tell him to open his eyes! It was fun hearing about some of the dates that Taycee went on with the other bachelors as well, from the egotistical one to the spitter! If you are looking for a light-hearted romance, then look no further. And you can pick up for your kindle until Oct 31 for only 99 cents!...more
I could - can - relate to the good girl that Emily Freeman is talking about in this book.
"Still, I like knowing the rules. If the sign says Don't TouI could - can - relate to the good girl that Emily Freeman is talking about in this book.
"Still, I like knowing the rules. If the sign says Don't Touch, I don't touch. If it says Keep Out, I stay away. If the form is due on Friday, I'll turn it in on Thursday just in case. . . .And even though I admit to occasionally bringing candy into the movie theater, I am always worried that the ticket person will search my bags and throw me out for smuggling in a bottle of water and two Peppermint Patties." (Grace for the Good Girl, p68)
This is very much me - but it would be a can of soda and Three Musketeers! I was the good girl in high school - good grades, didn't like confrontations, didn't smoke, didn't really drink. . . When my dad passed away the end of my junior year, I kept the mask on for weeks that everything was fine before I could even let myself breakdown and cry. That mask of responsibility that I had to be strong for everybody else. And then I went into my first marriage.
"She also believed she was supposed to form her opinions around his. She loved peas but wouldn't cook them because she knew he didn't like them. She waited for Charlie to come home for dinner before she would eat. Even if he called ahead to tell her to start without him, she refused and suffered through hunger headaches for the sake of being wifely." (Grace for the Good Girl, p90)
This is pretty much how the first couple of years of my marriage went and when my husband would go out to sea, I would basically fall apart because I had no one to "be a wife" for, so I didn't know how to act. After we got a divorce, I came to realize that many of my "favorites" were not really my favorites at all - but were my ex-husbands favorites.
I often think know, who in their right mind thought that I was responsible enough to take care of three kids? I am 45 years old and still don't feel like a grown up. I listen to other women talk and feel like I am an inadequate teenager playing a game of dress up. Do I show this? Of course not. I am still pretty good at wearing masks. I know that taking off these masks is not something that is going to happen overnight.
"I understood at an early age about the first rescue. Jesus came to save sinners. He came for the lost, the broken, the hurt, and the lonely. He came to heal sick people and to raise dead people and to die for the sins of everyone.
Never once did I consider he also came to save me from myself. I'm a good girl who has done good things and has good intentions for the world around me. What harm could I do to myself? But then I reconsider, and I think of the effort and the work. And then the shame. I think of the worry that keeps me up at night and the fear that perhaps I've not done enough. I think of the way I compare myself and the pain that comes when I grasp for worth and security from my husband or my job or my children." (Grace for the Good Girl, p124)
I can remember when I quit work when my son was born 7 years ago, how I didn't feel "needed" because I wasn't working a 40-50 hour a week corporate job. I was feeling worthless, but didn't realize that I had staked so much of my worth on that job. It took me a very long time to come to realize that my worth as a person did not diminish because I was a stay-at-home mom. I still struggle with it from time to time.
I don't want to say that there are "steps" that she outlines in the last part of the book, because accepting Christ and living in Him should not and does not follow a checklist. I have yet to learn how to stop trying so hard to be good and do good in order to be good enough for Christ. He has already paid the ultimate price, all we have to do is receive Him and remain in Him. I need to learn to let go of trying to control everything and rest in the peace that ALL things are in Christ's hands and His control - then maybe I can take off all the masks once and for all. I am looking forward to rereading the last sections of this book to reaffirm what I know, but seem reluctant to embrace. ...more
When I first started reading, this seemed like it was going to be a nice chick lit romance with all the ingredients - Young girl gets dream inheritan When I first started reading, this seemed like it was going to be a nice chick lit romance with all the ingredients - Young girl gets dream inheritance, meets nice handsome eligible young man, business takes off, romance blooms, happily ever after. And for awhile it followed that recipe to a tee.
Abby gets a wonderful inheritance from her Aunt Grace, enabling her to open her own bakery - A Piece of Cake - that makes only wedding cakes. In order to do this though, she hires a contracter from the area - Dane - who quickly becomes very important in her personal life as well. When the bakery opens on schedule, word starts to get around that you are able to price your own wedding cake. A small bit on the local news, leads to an even bigger story on The Today Show, and the next thing you know she is being flown to California to do a celebrity wedding cake! Things couldn't be better for Abby at her bakery and her and Dane have fallen in love.
Then the conflict hits, and the misunderstandings, and the disagreement and hurt. Abby, once she is able to get past the hurt and the blame, must take a look at her own life and make some decisions - and the resolutions she comes to are no piece of cake.
I really enjoyed reading this book. I liked Abby and the way she treated people, and I liked her and Dane together. The story really made me reexamine some things in my life though, based on the amount of time I devote to them, and what I think they are really worth. I hope to be able to make some changes to give some things more time that truly deserve it and cut back on some of those that don't! Great job Karey! I like a book that makes me think!...more