I have to admit I was a bit worried about reading Jo's book because reading the blurb Cash didn't seem the least bit appealing (woman whisperer???) buI have to admit I was a bit worried about reading Jo's book because reading the blurb Cash didn't seem the least bit appealing (woman whisperer???) but I have to give it to Child. Despite a few problems I really enjoyed reading this. In fact it may well be my favourite.
There was a lot going on in this story. Jo's past for one. We finally find out what happened to her that shaped he in who she is today and it is not pretty. While I cheered when she finally dealt with it I am not sure all that bonding is totally believable.
That she is the way she is is what keeps her from forgiving her father as fast as her sisters and what keeps a barrier between her and her half brother Jack. I did like it when she finally addresses those situations and feels free to move on.
Seeing as Jo had so many baggage I really don't think we needed a hero with the same amount of problems but there you go, that what Cash was. I loved how he bonded with Jack and how despite their sparring he and Jo manage a friendships of sorts over the boy. That he was there to support her when she needed was really well done and while I think it took him almost to long to see reason it didn't bother me too much because I knew he would turn up eventually.
I read somewhere that Child is Irish. That is funny because these books feature a very loud and proud Italian family. Sometimes I felt they were a bit too loud and proud but, not being Italian, I hesitate to say if it's overdone or not. That they love each other and fight with and alongside each is a wonderful testament to any family and I couldn't help appreciating that.
A few years ago I read the first one in this series and really enjoyed it. Recently I had the opportunity of grabbing book number two and I couldn't lA few years ago I read the first one in this series and really enjoyed it. Recently I had the opportunity of grabbing book number two and I couldn't let it pass. I am happy to report that I did enjoy it although I was a bit worried in the beginning.
Mike is the youngest Marconi sister. She is saving money to buy her dream property when suddenly someone else comes along and buys it. My problems with the beginning of the book was precisely because I couldn't understand Mike and Lucas's relationship. If he was the new owner why did she keep changing his orders for the house and why didn't he do something about it? They supposedly had a business relationship only and it's not very sound for business if you keep thwarting the one who is paying you no matter how much you think you have better ideas.
Once I got past that - meaning once I felt they had more than just a business relationship - I was OK with how they dealt with each other. I could totally see how Mike was good for Lucas!
But they both have events from their past who threaten to shadow their lives and their relationship. Once again I enjoyed how they supported each other and helped each other processing what was happening. I think the final twist was unnecessary as I could totally get a HEA without it but it also didn't bother me so all is well.
This is only my second Maureen Child book but I find that I really like her writing style and that she portrays the relationships in a very realistic way. I can't wait to get my hands on the third book of this series and I'm thinking I must check out the rest of her back list.
Although I am a series lover it is not always that I feel like (or get the chance to) reading them all in a row as it is happening with this series. IAlthough I am a series lover it is not always that I feel like (or get the chance to) reading them all in a row as it is happening with this series. I have been pondering about what attracts me to it. I think it is about the fact that I seem to be watching the community being built. Not just grow... I actually feel that with each book that something is still missing and I think that is what keeps me from giving higher grades. I keep reading because I know that when it feels completed it will make a great story.
Two things annoy me though. One that, especially in the first books, they keep mentioning that Jack was too old to have kids. That is just silly! And second that each newcomer seems to have to point out that the women are all stunningly beautiful. That is just as silly not to mention unrealistic. And since in every book there's a newcomer it's also boring.
Having said that I quite enjoyed Shelby's book. I liked both the main characters, that they had some baggage but managed to get into a healthy relationship and I did like it that, with a little help from friends and family (which I'm sure we will see in later books) Luke managed to overcome the bit of baggage that was stopping him from making a commitment. And that Shelby was wise enough to come back when he was ready for her! They felt like sensible people with real worries and expectations.
I thought this plot had great potential (one of those angsty types I so love) and so I was looking forward to it. But truth be told I was a bit disappI thought this plot had great potential (one of those angsty types I so love) and so I was looking forward to it. But truth be told I was a bit disappointed. I was expecting Paul's reticence in admitting his love for Vanni to make a tough road for these two but I felt there ere too many external elements complicating their lives even more. Totally OK with Vanni's behaviour but Paul didn't need to get into that extra entanglement. And since he did and the woman didn't seem all that bad why not find a solution for her problem? I also loved Cameron, such a great, considerate guy.
Still it was a nice enough story and enjoyed it. I also enjoyed all the secondary stories that make this an interesting series - Mel and Jack, Preacher and Paige, Rick and Jack's relationship and now Tom and Brenda and Joe and Nicky. Virgin River is definitely growing in terms of population numbers.
Let's see what the next books have in store for us.
Yes, it is another review of a Virgin River book. In book 4 we are introduced to 2 new characters - Marcie Sullivan and Ian Buchanan. Marcie is a younYes, it is another review of a Virgin River book. In book 4 we are introduced to 2 new characters - Marcie Sullivan and Ian Buchanan. Marcie is a young widow, her husband died from injuries suffered in the war and Ian is the man who saved is life and brought him home, although he never recovered. Marcie feels indebted to the man who gave her and her family time to say goodbye and Ian feels guilty that he didn't manage to keep Robert from harm.
I have to admit I had a hard time warming up to Marcie. She was just too determined in her search for Ian and I didn't understand why it was so important. Why she just didn't hire a private detective to find him first. But I did like the relationship between those two once they find each other. My problem then was that this is a romance and I felt they had a friends relationship more than a lovers (or future lovers) relationship.
What touched me more about this story was when Marcie described her last months with her husband. Having recently lost a loved one that went through a similar situation I couldn't help letting a few tears fall.
But by the end of the story I was actually rooting for them and I was curious about what life had in store for them. Do they appear in future VR books I wonder?
As is becoming usual I did enjoy the VR community very much. I loved reading about all those friendly people again and I can't wait to keep on reading about them. I clearly have an addiction now and I blame it on my friend Dee!
This was my first read by Amaral and it was a very fast and easy read. It is a mystery about the investigation of a murder committed in Portugal in 19This was my first read by Amaral and it was a very fast and easy read. It is a mystery about the investigation of a murder committed in Portugal in 1975 - the Hot Summer (Verão Quente) that the title refers to. Portugal was a dictatorship up until the 25th of April 1974 revolution and the subsequent years were fertile in political moves.
What I did like most about the book was the glimpse it gave me of how things happened during that period. It made me want to read more stories set in the mid seventies but also try some of the non fiction books written about these events.
What I did like the least was the characters. Too much sex or sexual innuendo, too many women for whom every male drools and who don't think twice about betraying any partner they might be involved in. I felt there was zero chemistry between the main characters and was a bit bored by how they jumped from bed to bed.
The murder investigation was interesting up to a point and I was actually looking forward to knowing who the killer was. But in the end it felt like an easy way out was chosen. There was no clue and the ending felt a bit abrupt.
Although set in different decades I thought it made for an interesting comparison with Alem Tejo. That story was about the lower classes during the dictatorship and this one was about the upper classes. Both definitely made me want to read more about it....more
Another entry in the Virgin River series (it seems I just can't get enough despite my complaints) this one is about Jack's friend Mike and Jack's sistAnother entry in the Virgin River series (it seems I just can't get enough despite my complaints) this one is about Jack's friend Mike and Jack's sister Brie.
I did like Brie and Mike's relationship, how they first had a friendship and only later became involved. But I think what I liked the most about this story was how it was centered on the community and there were several stories intertwining - besides Brie and Mike there was Vanni and her family, there was the high school serial rapist, there was Mike's appointment as the town constable or something similar. I especially liked this latest development and I am sorry Hope McCrea doesn't appear more. She sounds like quite a character and now I'm left wondering which job she will try to create next...
I think the plot about the serial rapist could have had a more satisfying closure if we had known for sure who was the first girls boyfriend and what exactly had happened to Brenda. Brenda is in fact the only victim we get to know more about and I wouldn't have minded to know a bit more at least about the other girl. Tom and Brenda's relationship was a nice subplot, and from what we read in this book it seems Vanni and Paul will get a book somewhere down the road.
Part of the appeal of a series, to me, is revising the same characters several times and see how they are evolving. I have to say that this series fits that bill nicely and I think that is what makes me go back for more.
Book 2 of the Virgin River series left me much the same impression as book 1. I liked the characters enough but I especially liked the community and IBook 2 of the Virgin River series left me much the same impression as book 1. I liked the characters enough but I especially liked the community and I am really sorry that Hope, who seems intent on not letting the town die, doesn't show up more.
It felt a bit like "more of the same" that some other woman shows up running from her past but Paige was a nice character. Her problems are indeed serious and, while I'm no expert on the subject, I did like how things were handled and how she was encouraged to face her fears and who threatened her. Preacher on the other hand seemed a bit too good to be true. Can you actually go to war and see so many bad things and retain the purity of spirit that he has? Still I can't help but like him and he is so good and tender hearted in so many ways. I loved how he dealt with Paige's son Christopher.
I did like to revisit Mel and Jack, to be honest I think I like them more now that they are together than when they were getting to know each other. I found Rick and Liz story heartbreaking. I do hope they show up in future books ( at least Rick) so we know how he is doing. However I am starting to see a pattern here of women who are grieving/hurting and finding a male who helps make them whole and I wonder if that is going to continue throughout the series.
Once again a story that I liked but didn't love. I keep feeling that I should like it more than I actually do. Let's see if I find one that totally satisfies me in the next books.
Well it seems I am a series kind of girl. I do so like them that even when I find a free book to download from Amazon I eventually discover that it isWell it seems I am a series kind of girl. I do so like them that even when I find a free book to download from Amazon I eventually discover that it is part of a series.
Dirty Little Secrets seemed like an interesting read from the back blurb and it actually was despite a few problems. The main character, JJ, is a mortician in a small town. She took over her parent's business after their deaths and she is still dealing with the pain and doubt from that event when one of her friends is found murdered. JJ is best friends with the chief of police and together they start an investigation about what really went on.
At the same time a mystery writer shows up in town in search of material for his new book and the chemistry between him and JJ is instantaneous.
I think what I enjoyed the most was JJ's voice. How she doesn't take herself too serious and has genuine concerns about her life and especially her love life. Her relationship with Brody is too quick but my main complaint is that we never see it developed. I also enjoyed her relationship with Jack. Not many books have such strong main characters without presenting them in a relationship. Despite the underlying attraction it's nice to see them just as friends.
The parts I had problems with was the killer's identity - I felt it came out of nowhere. And the resolution of JJ's love life also seemed a bit abrupt to me. It was a nice enough story to spend an afternoon with and should book 2 be free too I'll be sure to grab it.
I didn't have any special read planned for this month's TBR challenge and I have to admit that the date just snook up on me and suddenly I was faced wI didn't have any special read planned for this month's TBR challenge and I have to admit that the date just snook up on me and suddenly I was faced with having to choose something. Looking at what I had in my virtual pile I discovered a book that I had found free on Amazon a while ago and it seemed to fit the steamy read qualification - Desiree Holt's Lust Unleashed.
And it definitely filled its promise. This is a hot story about a part native-American loner heroine and a shape shifter who has been hunting the Chupacabra - a sort of mytical creature that attacks in the night and leaves its victims bloodless.
What I did like: the sex was hot and with a bit more variety than my usual reads and the main characters seemed to have good chemistry.
What I didn't like: there was no tension and it was sort of insta-lust as soon as they see each other. There's no big conflict to overcome, not even the memory of Jonah's dead fiancee. The shapeshifter's angle and mating bond is nothing new and I didn't even understand what made the mating bond happen.
I also thought that there were a lot of characters mentioned but besides the main ones they are not well developed. Jonah and Dakota were better developed but to be honest I didn't warm up to any of them. I gather this is the first of a series so I'm guessing the others will feature in the next books. I also thought the prejudice against the heroine was a bit overdone (at least I hope native americans are treated better than that). And the Chupacabra plot I found a bit unbelievable.
Something different from my usual reads, this was an easy read but it didn't convince me to continue reading the same genre.
I've heard so much about this series from different friends that recently I finally decided to grab the first book and see what the fuss was about. II've heard so much about this series from different friends that recently I finally decided to grab the first book and see what the fuss was about. I had heard mostly good things but also less favourable opinions (about how everything was too perfect), and I have to say that now I understand both sides.
What appealed to me when I started it was that search for a simpler life that seems to be Melinda's goal. I have felt the same appeal for some time now. Not exactly moving to some place else but the need to declutter my mind and my life and opting for a simpler lifestyle. And at the end of the story that was actually what made me want to grab the next book. The fact that that mountain community that had so few luxuries seemed so alive and interesting.
I did have some trouble with the characters. Melinda, while an OK kind of woman is nothing like me and I had a hard time empathising with some of her reactions. Jack seemed a bit too much like a goody two shoes with that thing of working on the cabin without even knowing if Mel would be staying and paying good money for the stuff ( I would have bought it better if he had just worked there himself to make it more habitable). Then Hope who is on center stage in the beginning of the story because she brought Mel to the community just disappears of the face of earth...
Maybe because I didn't particularly like Mel and Jack but I felt the romance was a bit bland. I really disliked his previous attachment and how he dealt with it and how Mel kept thinking about her past so that might have been an influence on how I liked them together.
Despite that, the spirit of the community made me want to keep on reading and I am now immersed in book two.
I've been meaning to try Lisa Kleypas's contemporary novels for some time now but to be honest what I've read about didn't make me rush to pick them uI've been meaning to try Lisa Kleypas's contemporary novels for some time now but to be honest what I've read about didn't make me rush to pick them up. I am, in fact, one of those readers who keep asking why she doesn’t go back to writing historicals, those I know I will, if not love, at least enjoy. However, as I was looking at the Christmas themed books I had in the TBR pile I noticed this Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor and thought that it might be the right book to sample her contemporary writing.
I'm happy to say that I did enjoy it. This is a rather short story and at times I felt that of it had a longer format some thing or other could have been better developed or contextualised but as a whole I thought it a nice, sweet story about 2 people falling in love despite themselves.
Mark Nolan is raising his 6 year old niece with the help of his brother Sam. He has a girlfriend that he likes and he is planning to propose as she seems the right woman to raise a family with. Mark, his brothers and sister had a pretty messed up childhood and he doesn't want to make the same mistakes his parents made.
Holly, his niece, doesn't speak since her mother died. One day, while visiting the local toy shop Holly and the shop owner, Maggie Conroy, connect with each other and the little girl eventually starts speaking. Although at first glance Mark wasn't particularly interested in Maggie, her connection with Holly makes him pay more attention.
Maggie has been a widow for 2 years. She feels attracted to Mark but, if for one she feels that dating other men would be betraying her dead husband, she also feels that Mark is off limits as he is in a relationship. And so they dance around each other, getting to know each other but afraid to do something about it.
I did like both of them. Maggie was a really funny character and Mark you could see he just needed to believe in himself and the love he had to give. I was curious about his brothers - Sam and Alex - who play a secondary role in this story. I have checked Kleypas website and I see they have their own books so I already added them to the TBR pile.
It's not often that I feel like starting a review when I'm still halfway through the book but I can't help being in awe of Karin Slaughter's imaginatiIt's not often that I feel like starting a review when I'm still halfway through the book but I can't help being in awe of Karin Slaughter's imagination. I spend half her books thinking where she got the inspiration for her stories and dreading that they might be an inspiration to someone. Where other authors write about cold motives for murder (financial gain, dislike, revenge, etc) Slaughter writes about pure evil and random victims. She makes one feel that everyone can be a victim and I do find that very unsettling. The fact that we are told that this book is about Will Trent's past, and since we know from book 1 that he was raised in an orphanage, makes it all the more poignant and difficult to read. Or maybe it's just that I am a big cry baby since I became a mother. But the fact is that I found this a very difficult read.
I really admire the amount of research that Slaughter must have done to give us such a complete view of the police force in Atlanta about 40 years ago and I really enjoyed knowing about that. It gave us great insight into the character of Amanda Wagner and how what she went through made her angry and strong. I did like her developing friendship with Evelyn Mitchell, their relationship had been approached in another book and I thought it well done of Slaughter to show its beginnings.
The current case is about a missing young woman. Amanda is doing her best to track the killer while keeping Will off the case but when they meet at the home that was once the orphanage where Will lived she gives him a startling piece of news. Besides dealing with the current case, from which he can't stay away, Will has to deal with his traumatic past and with his feelings for Sara Linton.
I don't want to go into spoiler territory, but the past case about kidnapped and murdered prostitutes was particularly gruesome. Still, I couldn't stop reading as I wanted to know about Will so much. I have to say that after all the bit and pieces she has been giving us through the years I was surprised and somewhat pleased by what we find here. If I have a complaint is that we don't get to see enough of Will and Sara together. Hopefully the events of this book will have made him stronger and more able to trust others. That hope is why I am looking forward to the next book!