I am such a sucker for the "second chance/I've loved you since I was a kid" theme. What this says about my own deep-seated psychological issues I'm af...moreI am such a sucker for the "second chance/I've loved you since I was a kid" theme. What this says about my own deep-seated psychological issues I'm afraid to guess, but I gobble these romances up like candy.
Whispers at Midnight is one of my all-time favourites - a comfort read that I know will keep me entertained for a few hours. Every time I read it I wish that I lived in Georgia and had a 6'1", black-haired, coffee-eyed slice of serious hotness to fight/flirt with. My GR friend Catherine used a phrase once when talking about romance novel heroines and readers who like to "self-insert" into the book (I thank her every time I use it, I like it so much). Yup, I like to "self-insert" into this story every single time I read it. ;D
Of course, this can't be all about the Hero (well, it could, but who wants to hear ME talk about him when you could just read the book?), so I'll tell you that there is a decent little romantic suspense thrown in here as well. Nothing really grim or dark or tightly wound, just enough to keep the plot skipping along (and the heroine forced into the Hero's protective custody, natch). The chemistry between the H/h is spectacular and the biggest reason this book is one of my favourites. When Karen Robards is on, she is on fire and imo this is one of her best.
The story begins with our heroine returning to her hometown to lick her wounds and start over after a nasty divorce. She and a friend plan to open a B&B in her grandmother's old Victorian, where she grew up. Things get off to a jumpy start right from the time they pull up in their UHaul and surprise what they think is a burglar. Turns out the burglar is Matt, he's now the sheriff, and it takes him tackling her in her driveway before they recognize each other. Sparks fly, the real prowler shows up, and you're in for 450 pages of flirting, fighting, friendships, family, a couple of promising secondary romances, and a mystery centered around a sweet stray dog named Annie. And chemistry that almost sets the pages on fire.
A great way to spend an afternoon -- preferably while holding down a lawnchair, drinking iced tea. :)
I hated to check off the books-I-disliked for this one, but BOY did I dislike this book! I can't understand why this is rated so high. I really like K...moreI hated to check off the books-I-disliked for this one, but BOY did I dislike this book! I can't understand why this is rated so high. I really like Karen Robards but won't be reading this one again.(less)
Marilee Jennings has spent her whole life as a square peg trying to fit into the round hole created by her family. Always the outcast, she ha...more4.5 stars
Marilee Jennings has spent her whole life as a square peg trying to fit into the round hole created by her family. Always the outcast, she has pitched the job she detests and the fiance she doesn't love, hopped into her car and set out from California to the wilds of Montana. When she arrives she finds out that her friend Lucy is dead, her home has been ransacked, and no one seems to care. She's told that a hunting accident is what killed Lucy and her big-city suspicions are raised. The more she tries to find out what happened to Lucy, the more she discovers that no one is what they seem - least of all her late colleague and drinking buddy.
Remember in the early 90s, when movie stars by the dozens bought big chunks of land out in Montana and North Dakota? I think Ted Turner started it all (followed by Kevin Costner after Dances with Wolves). I'm sure they meant well, raising buffalo and elk, preserving nature - wildlife and the prairie. What they did was drive up the taxes, piss off the locals and mess with more than a century's worth of farming and ranching history.
That's the setting to this excellent book. New money and fancy rich folk set against ranchers and cowboys struggling to maintain their way of life. It draws you in from the first chapter, and doesn't let you go until the last page. I've read this book countless times, and I still couldn't put it down today when I read it.
The romance is believable, the chemisty between J.D. and Marilee is palpable and the love scenes are smoking hot. Hoag certainly writes it like she means it. Her story is full of characters so realistic they practically jump off the page and by the end of the book you feel as though you're right in the thick of it with them. The mystery/suspense is carefully plotted and keeps you guessing almost to the very end. Even if you think you know who did it, odds are you'll be surprised.
It's held up quite well in the 17 years since this book was written -- it's a bit dated with the references to the clothes people were wearing (Bryce wears tight jeans and chambray shirts buttoned halfway down, and Mari favours filmy skirts, boots and tshirts with oversize jean jackets) and Mary Chapin Carpenter figures largely in the music mentioned. I was roughly the same age as the heroine the year the book came out, so rather than notice that the styles have changed, it made me nostalgic for them. Other than that, I barely noticed the lack of cell phones or mp3 players.
I don't normally like cowboys that much, but I LOVED J.D. Rafferty. How I would have loved to have tripped over a man like that in real life. YUM. I identified strongly with Marilee. I liked her, wanted to be her, right down to her wardrobe. Which like I said, is kinda dated, but I loved that look so much in 1994.
I only have one beef and it's with the book business rather than the book itself. Here is my question, to Tami Hoag, Linda Howard and others: Why do romance authors who write perfectly good, steamy, well-developed, compelling, character driven, believable stories, pitch it all to write crime/suspense fiction????? Tami Hoag was one of my favourite authors in the early 90s. She wrote big, meaty, romantic suspense novels with really hot men in them, and women that I could identify with.