He uttered a curse that startled her with its foulness, and gripped her head between his hands, forcing her to stare at him. His voice...more****SPOILER****
He uttered a curse that startled her with its foulness, and gripped her head between his hands, forcing her to stare at him. His voice was savage. "For twelve years I have been in constant torment, wanting you in my arms and believing it would never be possible. I want you for a thousand reasons other than your legs, and...no, damn it, I want you for no reason at all, other than the fact that you're you. I want to shove myself deep inside you and stay for hours..days...weeks. I want morning and noon and nightfall with you. I want your tears, your smiles, your kisses...the smell of your hair, the taste of your skin, the touch of your breath on my face. I want to see you in the final hour of my life...to lie in your arms as I take my last breath"...
Once in a while, I am reminded of why I love reading romance novels...and why Lisa Kleypas is, without a doubt, Queen of Romancelandia!(less)
I've read many books where the hero has cheated in the past and the story begins several years later (present day), but this is the first book where t...moreI've read many books where the hero has cheated in the past and the story begins several years later (present day), but this is the first book where the affair is "fresh" so to speak. Daniel & Rachel have been married for 7 years and have 3 small children. While Rachel is home totally content with her role as loving wife and mother, Daniel, a corporate whiz kid, is rapidly rising to the top of the food chain. However, buying and selling businesses is a nerve-wracking, cut-throat profession. So, when his business is on the brink of being destroyed by a fraudulent takeover, the twins have the measles, the baby is colicky and Rachel is too tired for him, Daniel strays.
Rachel's "best friend" informs her of Daniel's affair in the first 2 pages of the book. The affair has just ended at this point so the story is based on 1) Rachel's struggle to understand why, bringing forth feelings of inadequacy, naivety, mistrust, fear, loneliness, and most of all heartbreak, 2)Daniel's battle with extreme remorse, self-loathing and the fear of losing what he loves most in life, and 3) the most important question of whether the marriage will be able to withstand the devastation and endure or has been irrevocably destroyed.
With my heart aching from the very first page, I was totally prepared not to read much past the first chapter. I mean seriously, I read romance for enjoyment and relaxation, not to be on the verge of tears with my blood pressure up, nerves frayed and my heart wrung out. But just like a car accident you come upon, knowing you shouldn't look but you always do, I flew past the first chapter and didn't stop until the end. I became so invested in this couple. Was Rachel an idiot for not picking up on the signs? No, because she loved her husband immensely and trusted him completely. Afterwards, was her confusion with sex realistic? Totally. Normally uninhibited, Rachel could only have sex with Daniel if the lights were out and she closed her eyes. Even then, she couldn't climax because the faceless ghost of the "other woman" always came to mind. (That seemed so real to me). Did I hate Daniel? Surprisingly no, the pain he was in from hurting Rachel was palpable. Of course there is no excuse for what he did,however, I truly believe he suffered as much from remorse as Rachel did from heartache.
Only in an extreme case would I possibly consider adultery as justifiable and this isn't one of them. But the author does an excellent job of laying feelings bare...we do not have to question any motives and therefore can understand how both Daniel and Rachel react and progress.*** I'll give you a hint of a spoiler: the truth of what really happened runs along the same lines as what happened in The Sweet Gum Tree by Katherine Allred. So if you have read TSGT, let that be your small measure of comfort if you read The Ultimate Betrayal.
I gave this book 4.75*** because it was such a touching, emotional read for me and every once in a while I guess I need the jolt of awareness. If you're on the fence about this type of story, besides being a remarkably in-depth study of a relationship, I can also say there is a satisfying, believable HEA; however, if you hate the idea of having a lump in your throat for a few hours and you really don't think you can handle a "cheating hero" premise, then you should probably steer clear of this one.
I think if I could sum up this book with one word it would be...brilliant!...or beautiful!...or (absolutely freaking) amazing!
The road to happiness fo...moreI think if I could sum up this book with one word it would be...brilliant!...or beautiful!...or (absolutely freaking) amazing!
The road to happiness for Marc Hunter and Sophie Alton is probably the longest, most difficult and improbable road that a hero & heroine (truly deserving titles) have had to travel; but from the Prologue to the Epilogue, you will cheer this couple on for every hard-fought mile they gain.
I have only read a handful of novels termed "romantic suspense" but I have no doubt Unlawful Contact sets the bar for the genre. Five stars doesn't come close to doing this book justice, as Pamela Clare has truly outdone herself here.
So if you are looking for a brilliantly written, beautiful love story woven throughout 375 pages of amazing non-stop action (that will keep you up reading way past your bedtime), then Unlawful Contact is a must-read for you. (Oh...and be sure to have the trusty box of Kleenex on hand...no way, no how will you make it through dry-eyed.)
If you are a fan of contemporary romance stories with a pseudo-sports theme (the Chicago Stars series by SEP, the Chinooks series by Rachel Gibson) th...moreIf you are a fan of contemporary romance stories with a pseudo-sports theme (the Chicago Stars series by SEP, the Chinooks series by Rachel Gibson) then Line of Scrimmage by Marie Force is a must-read for you. Like the comparable stories, the hero is a professional sports icon who will have your heart from page one. But unlike those similar books where the hero and heroine meet and then face the trials and tribulations of a new union, the protagonists in LofS have been married 10 years and are just 10 days away from being divorced.
Ryan Sanderson, quarterback for the Denver Mavericks, has just led his team to their 3rd Super Bowl victory. However, Ryan's happiness in winning the championship is bittersweet because his career has cost him his marriage to Susannah, the love of his life. Knowing that his divorce will be final in 10 days, Ryan is panicked that he is about to lose the only woman he has ever loved. Desperate to convince her their marriage is worth fighting for, a battered and bruised Ryan shows up on Susannah's doorstep. Unfortunately, he has picked a most inconvenient time to make an appearance as a celebration is going on inside...Susannah's engagement party.
The story begins...
First of all, you will absolutely LOVE Ryan and mourn the fact that all men have not been created in his image (or any man, for that matter). He is tall, ruggedly handsome in that modern-day cowboy style, and has a killer body like an athlete of his caliber should. (Overall, think Tom Brady* and you'll get a good image). Ryan is a sweetheart with a heart of gold and at first you'll wonder what the hell was Susannah thinking to file for divorce from this model of perfection, and soon after become engaged to a nerdy Wall Street guy that wears bow ties. But as you get to know Susannah you come to understand why she felt she could no longer be married to the football star. She had once devoted her life to loving Ryan but it no longer was enough. She felt like nothing more than a fixture on a shelf - taken down and dusted off whenever an occasion called for a wife. She was second to his career, his endorsements and to his public. Susannah knew that Ryan loved her and she would always love him, but the intimacy they had shared in the early years of their marriage was now nothing more than a fond memory. The love that had once been the wall that sheltered them from the rest of the world was buried beneath the avalanche of activity that monopolized a superstar's life. Then the rumor started to circulate that there was another woman...and Susannah had had enough. Ryan moved across town and Henry, Susannah's high school sweetheart, swooped in to pick up where they had left off ...before Ryan had ventured in and stolen Susannah's heart.
Ryan intends to keep that heart! He is going to convince her - or die trying - that they are meant to be together. Hating to hurt Henry but needing the closure with Ryan, Susannah agrees to spend the last 10 days of their marriage together. What follows is the sweetest story of two people rediscovering an incredible love they had almost let slip away. Like Gibson and Phillips, Marie Force presents a hero and heroine that are genuinely likable characters who, early on, become lodged in your heart. Ryan and Susie (as he calls her) both have engaging qualities yet very individual personalities, and they play off each other perfectly. The "fleshing out" of their characters is done primarily through dialog so you, the reader, can live their story instead of merely reading about it.
He turned in his seat so he could see her. "It's going to be crazy for a day or two, but I want you to remember it's not the most important thing I'm dealing with right now." Squeezing her hand, he added, "Patching things up with you is my top priority, and the only reason I'm letting this other stuff in is because my contract is set to expire right around the same time our marriage ticket comes due." "Ironic coincidence." "Yep. Ironic is the word. In five days, I'm either going to have everything or nothing." She glanced at him. "No pressure though, right?" His dimples were on full display when his face twisted into a lazy grin. "None at all." Sweeping his thumb over the palm of her hand, he asked, "How's my mug looking?" He stuck out his jaw in a dramatic pose. She rolled her eyes."Much better." "So I'm not going to look hideous in all the pictures that'll be plastered on the front pages of every newspaper in the country?" She snorted with laughter. "There's that legendary Sanderson ego on full display." "What ego? It's an honest question." He flipped down the visor and opened the mirror to study his reflection. "Looking good, my man." "Puleeze. Listen to yourself. 'Looking good, my man'." "I love giving you the opportunity to burst my bubble," he said with a chuckle. "You do it often enough." "I need to keep you sharp." "Keeping you humble was my greatest challenge as your wife." "IS your greatest challenge." "Was." "Is." "Was." "Is." "Shut up." "Shut me up." "I'm driving." "So?" He slid his hand up her thigh. When he reached his destination, she inhaled sharply and grabbed his hand. Not to be deterred, he kissed her neck, whispering in her ear. "Is." "Shut up." He laughed and sat back in his seat but kept a firm hold on her hand.
They are so cute together!
The book does have several humorous scenes, but (in keeping with the aforementioned authors) the gist of the story isn't funny at all...it is real, it is touching and at times you'll want to sob right along with Ryan or Susie. Overall, however, it is a most heartwarming story that you will hold onto long after the last page is read. Definitely a keeper!
Books like this should come with a WARNING: Bittersweet ending...prepare to cry your eyes out in the epilogue and then feel like sh*t afterwards when...moreBooks like this should come with a WARNING: Bittersweet ending...prepare to cry your eyes out in the epilogue and then feel like sh*t afterwards when you realize there isn't one more page to make it all better. (less)
Tucker & Rebecca were married for a brief period when they were in their late teens/early 20's. They had a baby boy, Sammy, but for various reason...moreTucker & Rebecca were married for a brief period when they were in their late teens/early 20's. They had a baby boy, Sammy, but for various reasons they divorced soon after the birth. Six years later, Tucker is a handsome, successful lawyer who (thank God) has matured a great deal. However, he feels an emptiness inside that threatens to consume him from never having known his son. He knows Rebecca has remarried; and although he has never stopped loving her, he decides to suck it up and get in touch with her in the hopes that he and Sammy can meet and maybe have some type of father-son relationship. This is where the book begins..
It has been my discovery that whenever a small child is directly involved & crucial to the plot of a Harlequin, it is going to be a major tear-jerker. Days Gone By is no exception. Sammy's vulnerability and timid countenance are very realistic - his little heart yearns to love this man that has suddenly appeared in his life, but, just like in real life, an older boy who comes from a broken home is Sammy's "mentor".
Tucker wants Rebecca back in his life as well as Sammy and the entire story is devoted to Tucker proving that he is worthy of having both of them.
I thought this was a great "second chance" love story and would have rated it higher but too much of the story was portrayed through internal thoughts so there wasn't enough dialogue. But it was the perfect "one-sitting" read I was looking for to pass the time on a dark, rainy afternoon.
It isn't often that I will read a book without knowing anything about it beforehand. But I noticed my old Ami (and GR) buddy, LuvGirl, had given it a...moreIt isn't often that I will read a book without knowing anything about it beforehand. But I noticed my old Ami (and GR) buddy, LuvGirl, had given it a 5-star rating; and, knowing how fiercely protective she is of her stars, curiosity got the better of me and I ordered it.
The first 20 pages or so and I was thinking 'nope..not my thing'. The heroine, Lucy Hart, is an uptight, moralistic, 29-year-old prude. Not once in her entire life has she even thought about stepping outside of the box, and was mortified by those that did. My gosh, what would people think? A spinster being my least favorite type of heroine and then discovering the period was turn-of-the-century (huh? like driving a Model-T and dancing the Charleston?), The Last Dance was about to hit the lonely trail to the land of the "dnf". But then something caught my eye...or someone, I should say...the fast-talking, heart-stopping, sex-on-a-stick, tall, dark and handsome ne'er-do-well hero who over-indulges in alcohol, fist fights and sex, Robert "Blackie" LaDuke. Ladies, we are back on track!
Lucy is embarking on her first trip ever. As postmistress of the little town where she has lived her whole life, Lucy has been corresponding for 3 years with a kindly, unassuming gentleman postmaster from another town. Both of them shy and reclusive by nature, Lucy & Theodore are throwing caution to the wind and make plans to meet and become acquainted over a two-week vacation in Atlantic City. They will meet Sunday night at 8:30pm in the lobby of the Atlantic Grand Hotel - Lucy will be holding a gardenia in her left hand and Theodore will be wearing a gardenia in his lapel. Foolproof! After being made to wait several minutes past the appointed meeting time, Lucy is quite miffed when she finally spots Theodore (or who she believes to be Theodore) by the tell-tale gardenia he is wearing.
Lucy waited on pins and needles for Theodore to make the first move. But nothing happened. He looked right through her. Lucy was left with no choice. She screwed up her courage, waved until she finally caught his eye and called out, "Here I am. Over here." She thrust the ivory gardenia up in the air for him to see. His midnight dark eyes lighted and he grinned appealingly, nodded and came directly to her. "We agreed to meet at 8:30 sharp," she said accusingly, her nerves taut, voice almost shrill. "You are late!" "Am I?" Continuing to smile easily, he gently took her elbow and ushered her across the crowded lobby to the beachside double doors. "Then please say you'll accept my most humble apologies, Miss...Miss..." "No, no. Not miss. Don't you remember? You're to call me Lucy." "All right, Lucy. And you can call me Blackie." "Blackie?" She stopped abruptly, frowned at him. "Why on earth would I want to call you Blackie?" He shrugged broad shoulders. "Most people do." "Well not I." Lucy stated as if it were out of the question. "I would never consider calling you Blackie." "Then call me anything but late for dinner," he teased, and brashly winked at her. Lucy was surprised and totally taken aback. She would never have suspected Theodore of being the kind of gentleman who winked at ladies. She made a face. "I shall call you Theodore, of course." "Of course." He nodded agreeably. He suggested a walk and guided her down the steep hotel steps. At the bottom step he stumbled lightly, fell against her. His face was an inch from Lucy's for a split second and it was then she smelled the tell-tale scent of liquor on his breath. She was shocked and horrified. "I knew it!" she said, pushing on his broad chest. "You have been imbibing in alcoholic beverages! Have you not?" He grinned. "I've been drinking whiskey if that's what you mean." "This is unforgivable," she said, bristling. "You have no idea how disappointed I am" "Don't blame you. Shame on me," he said. "I most certainly should have waited for you. Let's go have a drink together." "Have a...well, I never!" Her fair face flushed with color. "Then it's time you did."
And so began the story of the best "opposites attract" relationship ever. Although their worlds were so totally different, they fit together perfectly. They brought out only the best in each other, which is certainly not the norm for a hero & heroine. Lucy was the best surprise as she evolved from a lonely girl who had never done anything more than simply exist - others lived while she observed, as she put it - into a woman happily in love, who thrilled to every new experience Blackie introduced her to. She also became aware of her own sexuality, and when Blackie wouldn't make love to her because she was a "good girl" (nothing like the sleazy women he usually was with), Lucy didn't agree with his decision nor did she accept it...so she seduced him!
Nan Ryan did an excellent job of bringing 1899 Atlantic City alive. The sights, the sounds, the people...they were always there in colorful detail...moving in and around Blackie and Lucy as they fell in love. They seemed so real! The secondary characters - 3 senior citizens who lived at the hotel - seemed real as well. Each had a colorful story of their own and were a joy to visit. There is so much depth to this story as well as to every character in the book that when I finished reading it, I just sat there and cried for a good 5 minutes. That is NOT something I normally do. (Though I might have been pacificed somewhat with an epilogue.)
Although I'm out of the personal recommending business for now, in general I would recommend The Last Dance to someone who might want to try a romance set in a different period...someone who won't be adverse to shedding a few tears along the way...someone who, like me, loves an "aww... that is so sweet" HEA.
It's official. I'm ditching the tough chick stigma and giving over to the sappy, weepy girlie girl that cries over every one of Marie For...more[image error]
It's official. I'm ditching the tough chick stigma and giving over to the sappy, weepy girlie girl that cries over every one of Marie Force's novels. What's up with that, Marie? I'm 6 for 6 now.
The Wreck is Carly Holbrook & Brian Westbury's love story...two high school seniors that have found "the one" in each other and realize it for the blessing it is. They are planning to go away to college together in the fall & will be living together in an apt. off campus. A few weeks before graduation, Brian & Carly are hanging out with their 5 closest friends and Brian's younger brother, Sam. Ok, 6 closest friends. Deciding they want a pizza, the kids climb into Sam's station wagon but Brian & Carly back out at the last minute because they want to "spend some time together" (ack! I can't say it because I have a 17-yr-old daughter lol). Lying together under the willow tree, Brian asks Carly to marry him. Why sneak and live together when they can just get married a little earlier than they originally planned? Naturally, Carly says "yes" and for these two the future looks bright and the possibilities endless.
As Brian is walking Carly home later that night, a car crashes into a tree directly in front of them and bursts into flames...killing all 6 occupants. The night that was meant to signify the beginning of their lives together becomes the nightmare responsible for separating the two for the next 15 years.
"Every dream I've ever had begins and ends with you. No matter how much time passes, if you want to come home, I'll be here. I love you always. Only you."
~ note from Carly that Brian carries with him for 15 years ~
Although the plot centers around an elusive serial killer who has terrorized the small, close-knit town for almost 2 decades, this book is first and foremost a romance! Did Brian & Carly have a love connection strong enough to sustain them 15 years? Was it powerful enough to withstand marriages to others, psychological/traumatic disorders, and, completely different lifestyles? Yes, yes yes to all the above! We're talking Marie Force here... master author of tear-jerking, soul-searching, heart-wrenching contemporary romance novels that will break your heart one minute and see it overflowing with happiness the next. She writes the hottest, sexiest heroes that love their women with all they've got and don't give a damn who knows it. She isn't afraid to engage sensitive subjects and use them in her stories. In fact, there is a plot device used in The Wreck that is often debated by readers... one controversial enough to turn a 5* read into a 2* read for some. So she's got huevos. I think it's great!
Overall, this is an excellent love story with a hero to die for and a heroine to cheer for. But be warned: It is a heart-wrenching story so you'll need a box of tissue handy at all times because the teary moments sneak up on you from out of nowhere. If you've enjoyed anything written by Marie Force...Line of Scrimmage, Everyone Loves a Hero, True North, etc...I promise you this is more of the same and you will be pleased that I rambled on and on about it until you finally caved.
The Wreck is available for Kindle at Amazon for only $2.99 and if you don't have a Kindle you can download one to your PC for free and read it there! Enjoy!
"I loved What Might Have Been. It's sweet, it's hot, it's emotionally poignant and satisfying...and did I mention hot? Kira Sinclair hit this one out...more "I loved What Might Have Been. It's sweet, it's hot, it's emotionally poignant and satisfying...and did I mention hot? Kira Sinclair hit this one out of the ballpark." - New York Times bestselling author Linda Howard
Ahh...this is HB at its best. I loved everything about this book...from the hot couple on the cover (who depicted the H/h perfectly) right through to an epilogue that is the perfect ending to an amazing love story.
Luke Collier has returned home to Collier Orchards for his grandfather's funeral. When he left 8 years ago for the bright lights of the big city, he was eager to get away from the orchard and the stifling setting of the small town he had grown up in...so eager that he dumped his girlfriend of 4 years, half-heartedly promised his grandparents he would write, and bid his twin brother Logan a fond adieu as well...effectively walking away from everything he loved without so much as a backward glance. Now he was back, and that stifling feeling immediately took hold of him again. He couldn't wait to sell the orchard and move Gran to a home in Atlanta close to his condo!
But then he saw Ainsley...and he was flooded with memories of their past. He had fallen in love with her the very moment he had first laid eyes on her in the orchard...her beauty illuminated by the moonlight. But that had been many years ago when she was just a teenager. She certainly wasn't a teenager any longer. She was a grown woman and even more beautiful than he had imagined..and he had imagined it more times than he cared to admit during those years he had been away. None of the women he had dated could hold a candle to Ainsley...not just in beauty but in strength of character...heart and soul. And - OMG the sex! It had been like nothing he had ever experienced again. More than amazing! But then the familiar, gut-wrenching feeling took hold of him and Luke berated himself for his foolish thoughts. He made a firm promise to himself he wouldn't linger at the orchard a moment longer than was necessary. He wasn't up for the torture...
... Ainsley had married his brother.
If you enjoy the "second time around" theme, put this book at the top of your wish-list. If hot, sweaty, peach-juice-sticky sex is your thing, these two turn it into a delicious, erotic work of art. The sexual chemistry they share is palpable (caution: drooling inevitable) and the sex -wowowowow - raw, needy and totally uninhibited.
*dear God, send me a Luke Collier and I promise to eat brussel sprouts every day for the rest of my life*
There are several heart-wrenching, bittersweet moments so a box of Kleenex is strongly advised (although a sturdy sleeve should do in a pinch). Whatever. Just read this book. Please. I guarantee the few hours you spend absorbing these 200 pages will be time very well-spent!
First of all, if you are on the fence about whether or not to read this book because it is giving you that "chick-lit" vibe, you can climb down now si...moreFirst of all, if you are on the fence about whether or not to read this book because it is giving you that "chick-lit" vibe, you can climb down now sista and start reading ...this one is all about the romance.
My One and Only is Harper Evan's story, a 33-year-old divorce (and divorced) lawyer living year-round on Martha's Vineyard with her Toto-lookalike dog. She is attractive, successful...but OMG what a force to be reckoned with!. She is cynical, she is sarcastic and she has extreme OCD issues. Having as much to do with her personality as with her profession, she "gives advice" (think "forcing it down one's throat") to family, friends, strangers...wherever she (and only she) thinks it is needed.
Early on, Harper is telling Dennis, her hunky fireman BF of 2 years, that it's time to get married...reading him a list of changes he needs to make before they do the deed, and then whips out the engagement ring she bought for herself! I don't like doormat heroines, but would I enjoy an opposite to the extreme? Fortunately, we learn early on why Harper is so controlling, why she refuses to leave anything to fate, and why she is in the business of breaking up marriages, although to Harper's credit her clients come to her when their marriages are already in trouble, and she simply counsels them with her motto "accept in your heart what your head already knows". (Having been through a divorce, I might have spared myself the unnecessary grief and wasted time spent trying to make the marriage work if someone would have counseled me with that advice.)
Under Harper's many layers of self-imposed protective armor, we find there is a frightened and vulnerable girl beneath who has had her heart broken twice...by the two people she loved the most. Nick Lowery, Harper's ex-husband and the love of her life, is one of those two people. Now Harper is on her way to Montana to serve as maid-of-honor for her sister, Willa, who is marrying Chris Lowery, Nick's brother. Harper and Nick haven't seen each other for 12 years...
This is the first book I've read by Kristan Higgins and I was totally blown away by how talented she is. I admire authors in general simply because they have the ability to come up with an idea that they can stretch over several hundred pages. Then there is that select group of authors who are, to me, what movie stars are to my mother. I want to see them in person...be the first in line to buy their latest books...talk about them, talk with them...be eternally infatuated with each and every one of them because they provide my entertainment, and, therefore, are responsible for a big chunk of my happiness. In short, they are my auto-buys. With one book, Ms. Higgins is in. She is a fantastic storyteller and funnier than hell...which, IMO, is no small feat. I make an effort to avoid authors that try to be funny because it rarely works for me in a romance novel. But KH has that great talent of being subtly funny - kind of in the dry humor family - and I was LOL throughout the entire book! Not a big deal, you say? A common mechanism used by writers? Then let me rephrase that: KH (love the initials) has the unique ability to make you laugh out loud on one page and have you sobbing miserably on the next. No kidding! It happens so many times you are emotionally spent (but in a good way) by the end of the book.
My One and Only is also a great character study. Whether it be the wise-cracking priest, Father Bruce, Harper's Tammy Faye Baker-like stepmother BeverLee, or Nick's half-brother Jason (I wannabe Tom) Cruise, everyone who has a speaking part in this book is a lifelike, 3-dimensional character. Assessing these people through Harper's eyes is a delight, and for the first time I truly enjoyed a book written in first person. Harper is the "smart-ass extraordinaire" and so downright candid that it is a little shocking at first but wicked cool once you get used to it. In fact, I think I was suffering from a little 'heroine worship' there for awhile as she acted out in situations the majority of us would never have the nerve to attempt.
At that moment, Jodi Pickering, Dennis' high school girlfriend and a waitress here, shoved the prow of her bosom in Den's jaw. "Are you all set here, Denny?" she asked, ignoring me and giving my soon-to-be fiance a docile, cowlike gaze. "Hey, Jodi. What's up?" Dennis said, grinning past her 36-Ds to her face. "How's the little guy?" "Oh, he's great, Denny. It was so nice that you stopped by the game the other night. He just loves you! And you know, without a father in the picture, I think T.J. really needs ---" "Okay, we get it, Jodi-with-an-i," I said, smiling pleasantly up at her. "You have an adorable son and are still quite available. Dennis, however, is with me. If you would just take your boobs out of my boyfriend's face, I would deeply appreciate it."
Even Harper's dog, Coco, a tiny Jack Russell/Chihuahua mix, had a personality (albeit that of a drama queen).
Though I'd checked on Coco numerous times throughout the day and Dennis had taken her on a few walks, she was in full Chihuahua orphan mode, huge eyes, still body, not raising her head from her tragic little paws, looking at me as if I'd just locked her in Michael Vick's basement...
I realize I'm putting emphasis on the book's humor but overall the storyline is very serious and quite heart-wrenching. This is Harper and Nick's very precious but very sad love story...two people who had found that true, once-in-a-lifetime love together but were unable to hold on. Their siblings' wedding will bring them back together for the first time in 12 years. Will they at least be able to get the closure they both need so desperately?
My throat tightened, and the nearness of him, the only man who ever made me feel cherished...it just sucker-punched my heart. "Sleep tight," I whispered. "You, too." God, I'd missed him. Nick was quiet, his skin as warm as I was cold. We lay like that for a long time, not talking, not moving. The wind blew, Coco adjusted herself and gave a little doggy snore. Nick's breathing was slow and even, and this...the two of us lying together, was as comforting and wonderful as anything I'd ever felt. And horrible, because it brought such a pain to my heart. We'd had something special and rare, Nick and I. There had been more to our marriage than loneliness and tunnel vision and wretched communication skills. There'd been times like this, lying in the dark...together. When I was sure he was asleep, I touched his hand. Just a little, just a little brush of my fingertips against the back of his lovely, wonderful hand. "You asked why I couldn't forgive you," Nick said, very quietly, and I jumped a little. "It was because you were the love of my life, Harper. And you didn't want to be. That's hard to let go."
*sigh* Such a good book. many, many stars ********(less)
This book is absolutely amazing, but be forewarned... it will not fit into the perfect, orderly, sunshine and roses fairy-tale world that many of us r...moreThis book is absolutely amazing, but be forewarned... it will not fit into the perfect, orderly, sunshine and roses fairy-tale world that many of us read to escape to. In fact, it steps way out of the box. It is shocking, it is heart-wrenching, and it will take you to a very dark side of real life that you might not know much about and are probably better off for it. Yet despite all that - or because of it - the sweetest love story takes root from the very beginning of the story, grabs you heart and soul, and doesn't let go until long after you've finished reading the last page. Ryan is a true hero in every sense of the word, and I can't imagine anyone not rooting for him and Sara to find the HEA they so desperately seek and so rightly deserve. If you have a Kindle or Kindle-on-PC, please do yourself a favor and download this book as soon as you can.
Straight up...this book deals with the death of a child; and, although it occurs several years before the story begins, there are a few flashbacks to...moreStraight up...this book deals with the death of a child; and, although it occurs several years before the story begins, there are a few flashbacks to when it actually happened. This is simply a heads-up for those of you who do not feel comfortable reading a romance novel that employs this subject matter.
Lisa Alvarez is getting married again. Her fiance is her boss...a solid, hard-working businessman 22 years her senior. True, she never knew her father; but she is not seeking a father figure in Raymond. He is a good companion, a courteous lover and an overachiever in his business endeavors. Does Lisa love Raymond? She supposes she does in the way one loves a good friend. But love him in the heart-stopping, stomach-fluttering, sex on the kitchen table or up against a wall, wild & passionate sense? No. Never again. Lisa had that long ago...and when it was over, the grief and sorrow and pain was so intense she vowed she would never be that person again. Lisa is glad she is marrying Raymond. They are quite compatible.
Maggie Scott is seriously considering having a nervous breakdown. Her three kids are running her ragged, her house is a total mess and her life has been reduced to nothing more than one pile of dirty laundry after another. Since her husband had died less than a year ago, she thought she was doing pretty good holding it all together. But then she received that letter the other day...addressed to Keith from some woman named Serena who wanted to know why he hadn't called her. Didn't he want to see her again? And suddenly Maggie felt like her world was crumbling around her. She had to get away...have some time to herself...relax...breathe again...and track down this Serena woman to find out how she knew her husband. Maggie would ask Lisa to come stay with the kids for the weekend. As her best friend, Lisa would do this...in fact she owed it to her for not showing up to Keith's funeral. Okay, so Lisa had made it clear she was never coming back to San Diego. After the death of their child, she had divorced Maggie's brother Nick and had made a new life for herself in L.A. But this was a matter of Maggie's life or Maggie's death. She grabbed the phone and headed into her sanctuary, otherwise known as the broom closet...
One True Love was one of those books that I couldn't seem to find the right place to stick the bookmark in, close it up and walk away. Just one more page...just five more minutes...and then it was morning; and through blurry eyes (more from the predictable but satisfying ending and less from exhaustion) I read the epilogue. What a sweet, romantic ending to a story that, overall, wasn't very sweet or romantic. Instead, it was a well-orchestrated blend of three, individual stories with one common theme - surviving the loss of a loved one. Maggie...her husband killed in a freak accident that threw her into the immediate role of both mother and father...never stopped to grieve alone. Lisa...her baby girl dying from SDS at 2 months old...shut everyone she loved out of her life and ran. Nick...losing his daughter, which soon led to the loss of his wife as well...sought comfort through alcohol. Barbara Freethy does an excellent job of fleshing out these characters and giving each one a unique personality. As a reader you share their private thoughts & emotions, understand the personal demons they face; and, ultimately, feel an overwhelming (with just a hint of bittersweet) happiness when everything falls into place.
For the reason previously stated, I won't be recommending this book to anyone in particular. However, although somewhat abstract, I hope that I have conveyed a relatively decent idea of what this story is about. I am pretty sure you will enjoy the book if you choose to read it.
I finished this book 3 days ago and I'm just now coming out of the stupor that I've been wandering around in since. One Day isn't a book with many gra...moreI finished this book 3 days ago and I'm just now coming out of the stupor that I've been wandering around in since. One Day isn't a book with many gray areas...readers will absolutely love the story or they will hate it. I happen to be one of the former...so much so that I have spent all of my free time in the last 3 days hunting down pictures, articles, interviews, etc, related to the book and the movie adapted from it (opens nationwide August 19th). Since the author of One Day, David Nicholls, also wrote the script for the movie, I have no doubt that this is going to be that rare exception where the movie will be as good or better than the book. The actors they have cast to play the lead protagonists are a perfect fit. In fact, Anne Hathaway loved the book so much, she flew to London to convince the director why she was perfect to play the part of Emma.
The story centers on the lives of two people, Emma Morley & Dexter Mayhew, who meet the night of their college graduation on July 15, 1988. The one-night-stand they attempt to engage in doesn't pan out; instead, they opt for being friends. Little do they know, this "off-the-cuff" friendship they've settled for will cultivate and grow - encompassing Dex, Em and all of the book's readers. Thus, July 15, 1988 marks the day that changes their lives forever. For each year thereafter, the story stops on that same day to check in with Dex and Em.
One Day is a character study like no other. I don't think I've ever read a book where I have known the H/h as intimately as I do Dex and Em. Their hopes and fears, successes and failures - as well as the steadfast bond between them - is all absorbed by the reader. Whether you enjoyed the book or not, I'd wager very few could deny the amazing chemistry between Dex & Em, as well as how thoroughly exposed & vulnerable their feelings become as the years go by. You will laugh a little at them and cry a lot with them. In fact, there comes a point in the story where the laughter will cease but not the tears...definitely not the tears. Even for those of us that normally don't cry at the drop of a pin...you might surprise yourself here. Forewarned is forearmed...have the box of tissue handy!
I am not going to elaborate on the storyline because it isn't one to tell; rather, it is a story readers should experience for themselves. Although it is a fictionalized account, there are situations in One Day that might hit home as being very personal to you. Friendship and love... does one lead to the other or should heading in that direction be avoided? Can they exist synonymously...running deep and true and eternal? Is there one specific day that changed your life forever?
The only genre I read is romance and IMO One Day is a 10-star contribution. However, if you require your romance to be all wrapped up in shiny paper with a big bow on top (like I usually do), I would recommend that you do not read this book. But for those of you who are willing to step outside of the box, you will get an extraordinary, emotionally-gripping, "laughter despite the tears" powerhouse of a novel in return. The cover of the book says it all!
Thoughtless is a compassionate but heartbreaking story of three people caught in a contemporary love triangle. I read this book last Sunday, and I don...moreThoughtless is a compassionate but heartbreaking story of three people caught in a contemporary love triangle. I read this book last Sunday, and I don't know if it was because Andy Whitfield passed away, or because it was the 10th anniversary of 9/11...maybe a bad case of the "Sunday blues" or simply because the angst was ratcheted up so high in the story. Whatever the reason, when all hell broke loose in Chapter 23, the damn burst. Reading with blurred vision is such a bloody nuisance but I had to finish the last three chapters to see if somehow, despite the cheating, deceit and lies, all 3 protagonists were able to find a measure of peace & happiness in the end.
Kiera and Denny, both in their early 20's, have been an exclusive couple for 2 years. When Denny is offered an intern position with a prestigious ad firm in Seattle, Kiera applies for and receives a scholarship to the University of Washington. Leaving small-town life behind they travel across the country...moving in with a close friend of Denny's from when he served as an exchange student in high school. Enter Kellan Kyle...an extremely good-looking, sexier-than-hell lead singer in a local band...and new roommate to the transplanted Ohioans.
What follows is an extremely intense story of a young woman who is torn between her love for two equally-deserving men and their unwavering love for her. There is no menage here, where in a fantasy world Kiera would keep both Denny and Kellan. This isn't erotica, yet the sexual tension is so prevalent and so fine-tuned you'll be buzzing with expectation. Told through Kiera's POV, it is a simple day-to-day story made complex by the unexpected attraction between Kiera and Kellan and the powerful, emotionally high-charged atmosphere that settles among these two as well as the unsuspecting Denny. Fortunately, even with the limited POV,the author won't ever leave you scratching your head and wondering 'what just happened here?' She leaves nothing to speculation and plays the entire drama out in explicit (although somewhat lengthy) detail.
As you can probably guess, there is cheating in this story. And while the idea of cheating in a romance novel might totally turn you off, at least the circumstances that prompt the cheating are not due to the overplayed drunkenness or selfishness or the big misunderstanding...they are simply due to inexperience, vulnerability and the inevitable loss in the struggle to follow one's head and not one's heart. As such, there are no bad guys in the story. Unfortunately, this greatly restricts the reader's ability to justify the cheating; and because of the devastating outcome, it was hard for me to forgive Kiera and be truly happy for her.
This book is angst at its best. I was riding the emotional roller coaster of a lifetime and had to physically unwind & stretch cramped muscles whenever I took a break. But I loved the fact that a story could totally consume me like Thoughtless did...blubbering tears and all. The author, S.C. Stephens really has the ability to express feelings and emotions and internal struggle. She gets to the heart & core of the characters and thoroughly fleshes them out...so much so you will feel like a personal friend to Kiera, Kellan & Denny. Their story is both heartwarming and heartbreaking, and you will live every moment with them.
I absolutely loved this book and highly recommend it!