Opening Line: “I sometimes think to myself that I’m the last of my kind.”
Well I’ve gotta give this 5 stars because Nicholas Sparks did it to me againOpening Line: “I sometimes think to myself that I’m the last of my kind.”
Well I’ve gotta give this 5 stars because Nicholas Sparks did it to me again with another unforgettable romance. I just can’t help myself when it comes to his stuff. By now I’ve also come to terms with the fact that I’m not going to be guaranteed a HEA, which may actually be part of the attraction, it sure adds to the suspense factor as I never know who he’s going to kill off and I’ve thrown more than one of his books across the room in disgust but, yeah I keep coming back for more.
The Longest Ride was different than the last couple in that there’s no mystery or unscrupulous bad guys here. No big suspense factor or real tragedy. It is still a fantastic story though, the romance is just beautiful –soft and slow burning between our modern couple and sweet and sad via the Notebook-esque flashbacks from our older couple, who manage to give us a complete picture of their long life together –I just loved them. I also enjoyed the bull riding aspect, with its descriptions of the PBR and Luke’s battle with his nemesis “Big Ugly Critter”. The accounts of a hard working ranch life are also well done. Sophia was a little harder for me to relate to; a New Jersey college girl and her sorority sister issues. A great pairing of opposites.
Despite the lack of an antagonist the ending still managed to be pretty exciting, keeping me up late to see the outcome and wondering once again if Sparks was going to kill off another hero. I will say that this one is a little twisty, a little sneaky and (view spoiler)[ we do very much get our HEA so I didn’t have to throw anything or cry. (hide spoiler)]
Alternating with 3 different POV’s we begin with 91 year old Ira Levinson crashing his car over an embankment during a snow storm. Ira is alone in the world and no one is going to be looking for him for a very long time. In poor health to begin with he is now suffering from multiple injuries, unable to move and barely conscious, somehow his beloved wife Ruth appears in the passenger seat beside him. She’s been gone for 9 years now so couldn’t possibly be here yet she forces him to hang on, her clothes and appearance changing with the times as she urges him to recount the stories of their life together. Their early courtship, the dark days of WWll when he served as a pilot, their eventual marriage and their discovery of art which begins a lifelong hobby of collecting paintings from as then unknown artists. It is a life well lived.
We also meet Sophia Danko, a college senior in the midst of being pressured to join her roommate for a weekend at the local rodeo. Sophia is recovering from a recent breakup after her boyfriend of 2 years cheated on her and realizes her friend might be right, she needs a night out. She meets former PBR champion Luke Collins at the bull riding event, when he comes to her rescue in all his yummy cowboy goodness. Luke bears no resemblance to the silly college boys she’s used to and despite their differences the two start dating and fall in love. We follow them through the early stages of their budding relationship as they try not to think too hard about what the future holds as their worlds are so far removed. Luke is trying to keep the bank from taking his flailing ranch all while attempting a comeback after a horrific bullriding injury sidelined his dreams. His days are long and filled with guilt and fear.
Alternating characters throughout we see Ira and Ruth’s life lived while waiting and hoping for Ira to be rescued, growing weaker as the days pass. We witness young love and difficult decisions as Luke keeps a weighty secret and pushes himself to the limits. In the end Sophia and Luke’s lives are changed forever by an old man and the last letter he wrote to his wife on their anniversary. Cheers. Sigh.
For some reason Sharon Sala is always hit or miss with me, this one was a near miss. It started out really good, very suspenseful with a tornado takinFor some reason Sharon Sala is always hit or miss with me, this one was a near miss. It started out really good, very suspenseful with a tornado taking out the heroine’s house (and family) only moments after she`d stumbled across her ex-fiancé burying a body in a shallow grave. We then have her swapping identities with her deceased and near identical cousin and fleeing to Baton Rouge.
These opening chapters were excellent unfortunately though the rest of the story kind of petered out and a lot of times I just had to just go with it and not ask too many questions as to why the heroine was doing what she was doing; her motives were all over the place.
When she wakes up in the hospital (instead of going to the police) our heroine decides to continue living as her cousin while attending her own funeral, burying the family dog, flushing out the killer and having an insta-romance with her alternate identity`s boss –a near perfect southern gentleman who quickly susses out she`s not who she says she is but decides to help her anyways. Yeah things got a little silly. The romance angle was okay except for the falling in love in a couple days thing but Mike was definitely swoon-worthy, maybe even a tad too perfect.
Surprisingly my favourite character here was the bad guy, he wasn’t just your stereotypical villain and I enjoyed watching him trying to salvage the mess he`d made of his life while panicking and making mistake after mistake.
There are 2 more books in this series and both of the storylines have been started here during the tornado. I have to say I enjoyed the southern setting so I’ll probably check them out. Cheers 398jb2 ...more
Opening Line: "That inner part of a soldier that tells him when he’s being watched was going off big-time in Wes Holden’s head.”
This was actually my fOpening Line: "That inner part of a soldier that tells him when he’s being watched was going off big-time in Wes Holden’s head.”
This was actually my first book from author Sharon Sala but I can see now why she’s so popular. It was a very good read, well parts of it were; I mean the beginning is just excellent, grabbing you right away as we watch Army Special Ops soldier Wes Holden struggle with PTSD before losing his wife and son in an on-base suicide bombing and then subsequently giving up his hold on reality. If you have a thing for the tortured heroes (like I do), then it doesn’t get much more heartbreaking than this.
On the other hand right after the gripping opening chapters we jump straight into the heroines head and I suddenly felt like I was reading a different book. Her POV’s (before she meets the hero) read like a historical romance. Ally Monroe lives in an isolated mountain community and spends her days cooking and cleaning for her strict father and two brothers. Attending church on Sundays and trying to get out of marrying any of the potential suitors her Pa brings home in an attempt to marry her off before she’s completely passed her sell by date and despite her club foot. It all just seemed a little far-fetched, and I honestly wondered how these two were going to have any kind of romance.
Speaking of which… just when I’m getting on board with these two fitting together in a slow-going courtshipy kind of way it was like Sala suddenly ran out of page time and thought I better get these two into bed and wrap this up. There was zero chemistry pre getting-it-on and therefore all the ONE love scene did was make me uncomfortable because it was so out of the blue. Poor naïve virgin Ally, her first night in a hotel and she has to spout lines like “are we going to make love now?” Yeah I was surprised too honey, especially with Wes still missing his wife, barely able to function in the world and without any condoms. Anyways, it was pretty horrible.
On the other, (other) hand, the mad scientist, bad guy in this was excellent. Well actually he wasn’t all that interesting but the bioterrorism he engages in scared the shit out of me. Creating a “super weed” that is so toxic and addictive that it makes anything that touches it go mad (animals, insects, stray deer, the men paid to harvest it) trying to get more, more, more before they die an agonizing death. This plot line was clever and interesting and realistically scary.
So yeah, I would definitely give Sharon Sala another shot. MISSING was well written with engaging secondary characters, plenty of suspense, some twists and surprises and a great broken hero.
Oh, one other thing; I agree with another reviewer who questioned the title. Nobody is “missing” in this book unless you count the heroes mind but that’s just misleading, anyways Cheers. 368jb4...more
Opening Line: “The rangy she-wolf, still thin from the passing winter, paused at the edge of the tree line above the valley.”
Oh I liked this one. It wOpening Line: “The rangy she-wolf, still thin from the passing winter, paused at the edge of the tree line above the valley.”
Oh I liked this one. It was just such an all-round great read. With an original and captivating storyline and hero unlike anyone I’ve read before, I can see now why Sharon Sala is so popular. The writing is top notch, the romance wonderfully done (sweet with an undercurrent of sexual tension yet without any annoying melodrama) and the story filled with unique and well-drawn out secondary characters -you’ll feel like you know the residents of the small mountain town. We get two bad guys here, one of which you spend the entire book trying to figure out the identity of. THE HEALER is also especially great if you’re an animal lover because our hero talks to them in a very Doolittley way except sexier.
That’s right, Jonah Grey Wolf, what a fantastic selfless character. Not only can he talk to animals but he has the ability to heal with his touch. He also has great hair, can give our heroine an orgasm just by looking at her and is just an all-round nice guy. I don’t usually go for the beta heroes but I couldn’t help myself here.
Now while this story is filled with the supernatural it manages to stay out of the paranormal romance territory and remains strictly a contemporary. Actually one of the things I appreciated most about Jonah Grey Wolf’s character is that his abilities and formative years are never explained, he’s just able to do what he does, he’s just a healer.
At the age of two a female wolf carries Jonah Grey Wolf into a remote Alaskan village and leaves him there. It is all that is known about the mysterious boy who is quickly adopted by the town doctor. As the years go by it becomes obvious that Jonah is different; with a mystical connection to animals and the power to heal the sick and wounded.
When a visiting hunter gets attacked by a grizzly Jonah of course heals the tourist but he may have shown his secret to the wrong man because now Jonah has tuned into the hunted. Bad guy #1 (Major Bourdain) wants to harness Jonah’s talents in a quest for immortality and will stop at nothing to claim his prize. With his village in danger and a million dollar bounty on his head Jonah leaves Alaska and becomes a drifter, roaming town to town, never staying long or getting too close to anyone.
His travels eventually take him to West Virginia where he comes to the aid of a Lucia Maria Andahar and her giant dog Hobo who is caught in a trap. Jonah heals the dog and accepts Luce’s hospitality of a meal and roof for the night. The pair strikes an immediate connection and despite himself Jonah stays.
Luce has ulterior motives for inviting the stranger to her secluded cabin; ever since she began receiving threatening notes she hasn’t felt safe there. But Jonah can’t stay and he definitely can’t fall in love that would only make Lucia a target for his enemies. Wolves mate for life however and maybe it’s time Jonah started fighting back. 369jb5...more
Opening Line: “I live in fear of a four-letter word.”
This was a great read, pretty much everything you’d want (and expect) from British chick-lit inclOpening Line: “I live in fear of a four-letter word.”
This was a great read, pretty much everything you’d want (and expect) from British chick-lit including an amusing and very relatable heroine, several hunky suitors and a movie worthy ending. It’s also well written and super entertaining; with many hilarious scenes that had me reading out loud to friends. As a rom-com it is predictable, I mean right from the opening chapters you know exactly who Abby is going to end up with but it’s still so much fun witnessing all the antics she goes through in her struggle to get there, that you just won’t mind. Did I mention this is freakin funny?
“My inner thighs press tightly against Tom’s buttocks, a position that could, to anybody not witnessing it, sound absolutely delightful. Delightful however it is not. As his motorbike darts between cars, whizzes round corners and whooshes through amber lights, I couldn’t feel less relaxed if I were on a blind date with Hannibal Lector.”
Jane Costello was a new author to me and I loved her writing style; with short chapters, snappy dialogue and a cast of well-developed secondary characters who all managed to have me equally invested in their stories. I also appreciated how even the smallest of ideas mentioned throughout the book was brought to fruition by the end, very clever writing. I’ll definitely be seeking out more from her.
I should also mention that a huge chunk of the story deals with Abby’s quest to complete a half marathon, if you’ve ever done any running you will really appreciate this aspect. I found it an original plot angle and because of Abby’s state of lack of fitness when she begins you can’t help but cheer her on throughout. The reason why she finally follows through on her latest heath kick (besides the cute guy known as Doctor Dishy) will surprise you. Ultimately I found this motivating; as even the most unfit and lazy of us will be convinced that if Abby can do it then so can I (or at least meet someone delicious at the local running club)
Abby Rogers hates being late, but since starting her own graphic design business, there just doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day. Like today for instance she really didn’t mean to run that guy over with her car but he came out of nowhere, right between message number three on her cell and those take-away fries she couldn’t get in her mouth fast enough.
Abby’s love life has also taken a back seat of late and her waistline, well let’s just say muffin top and leave it at that. During dinner one night at her super fit, super skinny best friend’s house, Jess again broaches the subject of Abby joining her running club. And because tonight Abby has had several too many glasses of wine she says yes. I mean how hard can it be? Days later Abby is a literal hot sweaty mess. Doubled over, she’s just finished puking and may never walk again let alone run but as the burning sensation leaves her lungs she happens to notice a certain Doctor Dishy and he might just be worth doing this again for. Cheers 338jb4...more
Opening Line: "Captain's Personal Log Stardate 6324.09"
A while ago I caught the classic Star Trek episode All Our Yesterdays on late night TV and gotOpening Line: "Captain's Personal Log Stardate 6324.09"
A while ago I caught the classic Star Trek episode All Our Yesterdays on late night TV and got sucked right into the story, as well as just how awesomely cheesy the original series is (I really have to watch it more often) Anyways, I happened to mention the episode to my long time Trekkie Mum who found this tie-in book tucked away on a dust covered shelf (amongst hundreds of others)
YESTERDAY’S SON is a continuation of sorts to that original TV episode, playing on the "what-if" scenario that Spock and Zarabeth’s little indiscretion 5,000 years ago (due to Gateway Time travel) resulted in a child. (It seems Starfleet doesn’t issue condoms)
Spock goes back to the planet Sarpedion and using the mysterious time portal meets his 5,000 year old son. Time travel is so much fun, anything is possible, and while this is way out of the realm of what I usually read, I have to say that I enjoyed it. It’s a well written, clever story, capturing the essence of the original series perfectly while giving us a peek into the minds of our favourite characters.
The author obviously knows her Star Trek, managing to include mention of several other episodes along the way which will have Trekkies smiling. There’s a good amount of action involved here including a strategic space battle with the Enterprise outnumbered by the Romulan fleet Go Scottie! and some good old fashioned hand to hand combat too. We also get a ton of Vulcan history - is there like a bible of this stuff somewhere?
All the characters are represented in one way or another, remaining true to form. Kirk in all his Captainly awesomeness, Bones who is less grouchy then I remember, taking on a more father like role here and Spock who I honestly didn’t like very much. His character is cold, heartless condescending and frustrating. Yeah I know he’s Vulcan and emotionless but he’s also an a-hole. We also get a glimpse of some doomed red-shirts and spend just enough time with Scotty, Uhura, Chechov and Sulu to make it feel like a real episode.
Speaking of Sulu, he has one of my favourite lines from the whole book which is only ironic now 20 years later. He and Uhura are discussing how much Zar and Spock look alike
"Have you ever looked into Zar’s eyes?” Uhura leaned forward a little, lowering her voice.
“No--other men’s eyes don’t do anything for me, I’m afraid” Sulu grinned.
Ah yes, the science of Star Trek. Cheers. 285jb4...more
Opening line: “Life is short. Break the rules, forgive quickly, kiss slowly, laugh uncontrollably, and never regret anything that makes you smile.”
ReaOpening line: “Life is short. Break the rules, forgive quickly, kiss slowly, laugh uncontrollably, and never regret anything that makes you smile.”
Reading about rock stars and their insane lives of excess is one of my guilty pleasures. I find the rise to success intriguing and then there are always the drugs, the girls, the inevitable rehab, more rehab and the stories behind the story. You know, how a song originated, what the lyrics really mean, why he fell off the stage. Then there’s also the feuds with band mates, personal relationships and dirty little secrets of other stars they party with.
Steven Tyler's bio is no different, all the goods are here, and he doesn’t hold anything back (understatement) the only thing is in order to get to “the goods” you have to wade through utter randomness to find them. Yes Steve the noise is your head does bother me because most of the time I can’t keep up with what you’re talking about.
This is written exactly how Tyler talks (and sings) with a what-will-he-say next, conversationally feel to it. And while its fun it’s also bizarre, crazy and at times difficult to follow. Jumping all over the place without a logical timeline and obscure song lyrics and poems thrown in whenever he feels like it. He wants to sniff J.Lo, he’s doing lines on tour, he’s driving around in a yellow convertible with some hot babe, suddenly he’s back in school, he’s married, he’s in rehab, it’s all Joe Perry’s fault, this is what black tastes like, I like to walk naked in my garden and talk to the fairies.
Page 90-“I sat down at the drums and wrote the drum line for Walk This Way. You want the story now or when we get to Toys in the Attic? Hey, I never said this was gonna be a completely linear read. How could it be? (Ha!) But we’re on DRUMS so… what the f---”
Anyways maybe if I were a true Aerosmith fan I would have appreciated this more, I don’t know? As it was though once I was able to turn the noise down there was a lot of interesting stuff here because at 63 and with 40 years in the business Steve has seen and done it all with everyone.
As expected theres a ton of drug use here which actually gets kind of boring after a while I will admit though at being surprised when after 12 years of sobriety, a slew of health problems (Hepatitis C, false brain tumour diagnosis, torn ACL, broken blood vessel in throat and all the problems with his twisted feet) sent him spinning out of control with an addiction to post surgery pain meds and back for an 8th stint in rehab in 2009.
He goes into great detail about his wardrobe and scarves which I’m sure will interest some and although his “brother” Joe Perry’s name is mentioned throughout we learn little about their ongoing love/hate relationship. We also hear about his wives (3 and counting), his children (4 and counting) and how Aerosmith always came before his family. I personally found the sections on song writing super interesting; the process, what the lyrics mean or in his case don’t because sometimes he just likes how the words feel on his tongue.
With 32 pages of great photos fans will lick this up however I could only give it 3 stars because it took me ages to finish and at times drove me mad. ...more