(view spoiler)[ Just Like Heaven by Julia Quinn brings us back to the same time, but a different point of view. Remember all those dreaded Smythe-Smith musicales? Yeah. That’s where we are now. We meet Honoria Smythe-Smith, who, for the sake of simplicity, will heretofore be referred to only as Honoria. And Marcus Holroyd.
Honoria and Marcus are childhood friends, since Marcus and Honoria’s brother Daniel became friends at school. You get a prequel of sorts at the beginning of the book, flashing back to when Marcus was younger and he befriended Daniel. Then you really start the book with them meeting while Honoria is escaping the pouring rain. And she meant pouring. “It was pouring. Pouring. Not drizzling, not merely raining, but pouring proverbial cats, dogs, sheep, and horses. At this rate, she wouldn't have been surprised if an elephant tumbled down from the sky.”
I can’t really say how funny this book is. I’d love to supply you with ALL the quotes my little Historical Romance loving heart could find, but that would be most of the book, and I’m sure that’s kind of illegal. If you’ve read Julia Quinn before, the humor is just as good, if not better, than her usual writing. If you haven’t read her, shame of you! This is your chance to redeem yourself.
This was a very light read. A lot of JQ’s books are light reads, but they always have a sense of seriousness to them, an undercurrent that doesn’t let you think it’s a devil-may-care sort of book. In my opinion, this book didn’t have it. It was very light, and fluffy. Thouroughly enjoyable, and completely lovable, but at the end of the book, I didn’t get the immense sadness I do from finishing a new adventure, there didn’t seem to be any stakes put up. So if you’re looking for a book that has some seriousness in it, this isn’t for you.
If you’re looking for a book to giggle with, enjoy and make you relax, in between mad dashes into the water and the taco van, this is it. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the book, AND the characters, and I will read it again, but it’s not hitting my favorite shelf, which contains almost all of JQ’s books.
Marcus was a refreshing change as a hero. He wasn’t a rake, a rogue, a scoundrel, he was perfect. He was never the center of attention, did what he was supposed to, and generally never had adventures. You’re reading this and thinking “what the heck?? He sounds bloody dull.” But I’m here to assure you, he is not, in fact, dull at all. Read the book, and send me a message when you get to the part about the jumping rabbit. Please. He’s not what you'd expect, or what you’re used to. He’s very staid without being stuffy. The magic of Julia Quinn at work.
Honoria really has to be one of the sweetest heroines ever. She’s an angel. A mischeivious angel, sure, but an angel nonetheless. She’s such a loyal, caring person. Family means so much to her. And don’t forget that this is Lady Honoria SMYTHE-SMITH, for the love stolen treacle tarts and chocolate cakes. Don’t forget the musicales. In which she plays the violin dreadfully, and knows she plays said violin dreadfully. And please, I implore you, do NOT forget Lady Danbury. Because she’s back, too. Cane and all. *gleeful smile*
Just Like Heaven was a sweet, light read with loads and loads of humor. And chocolate cake. So really, how can you go wrong? You can’t, really. It is also the first book in a brand new series, the Smythe-Smith Quartet. No word yet on the titles of the next books yet, but I live in hope. This is a pretty great place to start, although you may not really understand the dread and despair associated with the musicales if you haven’t read any of the others.
And because I’m a shameless promoter, and I love to shove my favorite books in other people’s hands, check out Minx (the third and last installment in the Splendid trilogy, which I read first because I’m backwards like that,) Romancing Mister Bridgerton (the fourth installment in the Bridgerton series,) as well as What Happens in London (the second Installment in the Bevelstoke series) and a few others too!
Lady Honoria Smythe-Smith was desperate.Desperate for a sunny day, desperate for a husband, desperate--she thought with an exhausted sigh as she looked down at her ruined blue slippers-- for a new pair of shoes.
Sex, Lies and Online Dating by Rachel Gibson follows a mystery writer, Lucy Rothschild, through her latest novel, dead.com and the research for said novel. Lucy enjoys her life, researching and writing her books, snuggling with her twenty pound cat, Mr. Snookums a.k.a Snooke (if anyone watches Jersey Shore; he he), and hanging out with her other writer friends. Only this time, her ‘fiction’ novel turns decidedly ‘nonfiction’ when a wack job decides to bring her novel to life.
Quinn McIntyre is an undercover cop trying to find the murderer before he/she/it/they (don’t wanna give too much away) commit another murder. He’s had his own hard life, and lives for his job. But Lucy isn’t making it easy on him, especially since she’s the prime suspect and all Quinn can think of is how beautiful she is and how amazing she’d be in bed. Bad cop, no cookie!
This isn’t the first book I’ve read by Rachel Gibson, and it’s not the first book I’ve read in this series, Writer Friends. But I was disappointed by the “mystery” aspect of it. I thought I figured out who the killer was in the first sixty pages, and my belief was reinforced not forty pages later. Then we completely ignore the killer, besides the creepy letters we get, until the last ten pages. The killer wasn’t, in fact, who I thought it was, but the tradeoff was so quick and so without basis that it felt severely anticlimactic. The only thing I can think of is when Batiatus (from Spartacus: Blood and Sand) says to his wife Lucretia “not all ventures end in climax” and she says “a fact known well to many women.” Well known indeed!
The romance aspect varied for me. The sex was always great, and towards the end I was satisfied with their love, but in the beginning I just didn’t feel like it was there. I also don’t feel that RC gave us much in the buildup of the romance. One minute there’s no love, and the next there is, and you’re kind of left thinking uhh, where did you come from? But how well written it is in the end sort of makes up for it.
If you have never read Rachel Gibson, I wouldn’t start with this book. Although it is the first book in the series Writer Friends, there is no need to read them in order. The only issue is that all the characters are mentioned throughout all the stories, so something may be mentioned that you hadn’t yet read from a particular book. RB really is a good writer, and her stories are normally amusing, entertaining and a bit heartwarming. I’d recommend True Love and Other Disasters, which is by far my favorite book from her, although it’s the fourth installment in the Chinooks Hockey Team series. The first is Simply Irresistible.
I really enjoyed this book. It was intense, emotional and made me cry a few times. The way Ian is, the things he says, like "I wouldn't expect love frI really enjoyed this book. It was intense, emotional and made me cry a few times. The way Ian is, the things he says, like "I wouldn't expect love from you. I can't love you back" is so heartbreaking. I found myself crying often. There were some things I didn't enjoy, the 'bawdy talk' was a little too bawdy for my taste in a book. It broke my heart that he couldn't look anyone in the eyes, the way he was inadvertently treated by his family, his horrible father and what he'd faced in the asylum was all heart-wrenching. I found Beth a very strong character, I was happy that she was no swooning, simpering miss, but this is the first book I've read where a widow actually misses her deceased husband and enjoyed her time with him. I also felt that, despite all the strife in her life, she did have uncommonly good luck. I know she suffered, and I know that luck is what got her through, that, and not giving up, always pushing forward, but I felt that even though the author mentioned some of this, she should have delved a little deeper into Beth's past. Although most of this story is told from Beth's' point of view, the book is strangely centered on Ian. I really did love this story, and I'll definitely be reading it again, although I'm not sure it's going to become a 'comfort read.' It might though. All in all, it was a beautiful book, and the author laid out some good groundwork for further novels with the characters here. I would have given this book a five but there's just something I can't quite put my finger on that's stopping me....more
Blue-Eyed Devil by Lisa Kleypas introduces us to Haven Travis, youngest and sole female of the Travis offspring. We start off the story with Haven at her brother Gage’s wedding to Liberty, the main characters of Sugar Daddy. She meets the hero, Hardy Cates at the wedding, who also has a history with Liberty.
We then follow her into her marriage with Nick, the rat bastard. He’s abusive, mentally at first, but over the almost two year marriage, it progresses into physical abuse too, that ends in rape, a near fatal beating, and Nick throwing Haven out onto the front porch, where he tells her to stay there till morning and to think about what she’d done.
The author was heartbreakingly honest and just real about the way abuse is, how you start to think that you deserve it, how people’s whole lives change and revolve around their abusers. I sobbed my eyes out during her marriage, and a bunch of time later, when we see her struggle to pick up the pieces, to change, to get better, and to be normal once again.
Hardy has to be one of my top five favorite heroes of all time. The novel follows Haven and we only see her point of view, so it was different. But the way he is, the way he handles her, tries to make her better, keep her safe, it’s really amazing and heartwarming. When I expected a little distance, maybe even Hardy being out of line, all I got was compassion, caring and infinite care. I would have enjoyed even a few pages of Hardy's POV. While it may just be LK's style, or it may be that the story didn't exactly lose anything without his POV, I would have liked it better had it been included.
This is not a traditional romance novel, and I’m not sure I could ever classify this as a ‘comfort read’. But one thing it is is a beautiful story that might as well be a non-fiction account of someone’s own struggle and growth. You really do see Haven grow, you understand her struggle even if you’ve never been in her shoes.
This is written as a sort of stand-alone novel, as in you could read it and it wouldn't ruin the series aspect of it, but you do see the characters from previous books and see how they've fared. Sugar Daddy is the first installment of the Travises series, so if you’re particular about series’ and haven’t read the first installment, read it, fall in love and get to this story.
If you’re familiar with Lisa Kleypas’ historical romances, you’ll see some of the things that made you fall in love with those stories, but this series is on a completely different level. You will not be disappointed, but remember that it’s a heavier read, not as lighthearted and easy to read as other contemporary romances, but all the better because of it. The third novel in this series is Smooth Talking Stranger, which follows brother Jack Travis.
(view spoiler)[ This book was amazing. I loved the heroine, Lily Lawson so much. She’s so vibrant, she just jumps right at you. Lily has been through a lot, through more than anyone can imagine. She keeps her cards close to her chest *smirk* and stands on her own two feet. The grit and determination this woman has in unbelievable, and undeniable. She just doesn’t give one whit what people think, which is a good thing, considering that what they do think is hardly complementary. She realized that she would either be ostracized, a complete outcast or that she could change. She didn’t change.
Lord Raiford was a very good hero. I get tired of the heroes that have had so much pain they have to be cruel and they can’t understand and their heads are so far up their arses they don’t know which way is up. He certainly surprised me. Several times throughout the book I pictured what would happen next, knowing it was only a matter of time until he snapped, until he was cruel, until he didn’t care enough and it would all go to the devil. But Lisa Kleypas really surprised me. There was a scene towards the end, where, suffice to say, Alex thought she was doing something that she wasn’t. I completely expected him to storm out of the room, back her up and ship her to a remote, drafty and crumbling castle in the country. He was so hurt! But when she opened up to him, he listened. He put aside his pain and actually listened and then held her. Decidedly NOT what I expected.
The side charracters are marvelous. I cheated and read book 2, Dreaming of You, which stars Derek Craven. Then there’s Pokey the old bear, Burton the amazing butler, Henry the funny, lovable little brother, and Lily’s family certainly offered up some entertainment. You see a reunion between the family, and you can tell that despite the fact that Lily is a woman now, who stands on her feet and is fiercely independent, she’s still the little girl that wanted to please her family, that wanted to be loved and accepted.
One thing that did bother me was towards the end, when she had received a message from a bad person (I don’t want to give anything away) concerning something that had been taken from her. I felt that more pages should have been dedicated to the heart ache of the situation. It was done very well, but I would have preffered a little more emotion in there. I felt like she kind of buried herself in her husbands bed and shut out the world. But I also can’t blame her, since sometimes surviving gets so blasted lonely, and hard. I also wish she would have had a confrontation with the bad person, where she (obviously) delivers a scathing set down and her husband pummels bad person to bits of bloody pieces. But, alas. That’s also me being blood thirsty. A confrontation really wasn’t necessary, as the author gave her something better than that.
All in all, this was an amazing book. It provoked a lot of emotions in me, and the characters are so different from what you normally expect of a historical romance book. The whole setting felt real and believable. (hide spoiler)] ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
This is my first book by Judith McNaught, and I was not disappointed. A little confused, and a lot frustrated, but not disappointed. I was frustratedThis is my first book by Judith McNaught, and I was not disappointed. A little confused, and a lot frustrated, but not disappointed. I was frustrated because I just wanted to KNOW what was going to happen. I've never been like that before, so I'm not sure what it means, but I'll certainly be reading more of her books. I hated Royce in the beginning. But my oh my, at the end of the book, I'm not sure I've ever had a better hero. I liked Jennifer too, I loved her courage and her spirit. I think that her inability to open up and talk to him was a big problem, but it was totally understandable. I didn't blame her. This was one of those 'Big Misunderstanding' books, and usually I get bored or annoyed because the Big Misunderstanding is just too big of a misunderstanding. But the author wrote it out amazingly, giving no doubts as to why the misunderstanding couldn't be corrected simply. I laughed out loud a few times, and teared up too. The only reason I'm not giving this book 5 stars is because I was frustrated and impatient with it, and I don't understand where that's coming from. I'll definitely be rereading this, and reading more from JM though....more
This book was amazing. I started it a little while before bed, telling myself I'd get three chapters in and then sleep. Yeah, I found myself wide awakThis book was amazing. I started it a little while before bed, telling myself I'd get three chapters in and then sleep. Yeah, I found myself wide awake at 6am and aching to read the next! Hunger Games wasn't what I expected. I expected something similar to Rick Riordan's books, which are amazing themselves, but you know they're not real. I swear I could have turned on my TV and watched Katniss there, in the arena. It was amazingly written, with a goodly amount of little side plots. I liked seeing how Katniss survived, basically all on her own. I like how she depended on herself, she helped people and she tried to stay true to herself while her circumstances where trying to change her. It's not what I expected whatsoever, but this is a new favorite for me, and I recommend everyone to pick it up and read it!...more