A romance written totally from the male perspective! I think that's a first for me but leave it to Kristen Ashley to pull it off. Tanner Layne is a gr...moreA romance written totally from the male perspective! I think that's a first for me but leave it to Kristen Ashley to pull it off. Tanner Layne is a great guy and shoots from the hip just like all of KA's superheroes. But because it was written from a man's point-of-view, I got a refreshing break from all the details about clothing that mark her other stories. Apparently Layne doesn't care about clothes but I did notice that he identified the color of Roc's top as 'blackberry'. Any man I know would call that 'dark purple'. Quibbling, I know. I actually docked it a star because of the reason Roc broke up with Layne when they were younger. Little too much of a stretch for my liking. But classic KA: lots and lots of action, lots of family and even a dog, and lots of bed romping.(less)
And thus concludes my tear through this trilogy. As usual, no plot summary from me because this is an older YA book and everyone kno...moreActually 4.5 stars
And thus concludes my tear through this trilogy. As usual, no plot summary from me because this is an older YA book and everyone knows where to click to get the synopsis. This was an excellent trilogy overall and Collins has created a memorable heroine in Katniss Everdeen. Memorable as in there ought to be shirts printed with "What would Katniss do?" Emphasis on 'do', because she's one of those kickass heroines that does lousy whenever she has downtime and it shows in the angst-y narrative that ensues every time she gets injured which is whenever she pokes her head above ground. The love triangle with Peeta and Gale was wrapped up nicely enough, though I'm sure there are legions out there who don't agree with Katniss' decision. But yep, I'll recommend this to every YA reader I see, providing there're any left who haven't read it. (less)
I finished this gem weeks ago, and a smile still plays at the corner of my mouth as I remember the slow unfurling of the love between Gaetan and Kathe...moreI finished this gem weeks ago, and a smile still plays at the corner of my mouth as I remember the slow unfurling of the love between Gaetan and Katherine. Gaetan is an Apache and Katherine is supposed to be a proper white lady. Instead she has to be THE most sensible, most witty heroine I've stumbled across in ages. As a result of gunplay, overturned stagecoaches, banditos and soldiers, Katherine must tag along after the roughest, toughest, meanest Apache warrior the ol' West ever produced. He's also the quietest. A good quarter of the novel is her having a one-sided conversation with him, studying his every move to anticipate what he'll do, hunting him down when he bolts from her. For me, that alone was the most divine part of their story. Her pluck and steadfastness and good humor melted his stony heart. Life with him was dancing on coals--hot, tricky and unforgettable.
I absolutely refuse to read this book, though I've been told that it's vivid, suspenseful and action-packed. Along with my husband, I wrote, edited an...moreI absolutely refuse to read this book, though I've been told that it's vivid, suspenseful and action-packed. Along with my husband, I wrote, edited and published it. It's too much to read it on top of that. Though by all means, go ahead and give it a try. BTW, this is the first and last time, I will connect this title with M. K. Stelmack. Now back to reading...(less)
I enjoyed this book, though it was difficult to slot. A friend rightly categorized it a historical mystery with romantic elements. And the romance is...moreI enjoyed this book, though it was difficult to slot. A friend rightly categorized it a historical mystery with romantic elements. And the romance is understated, so zippo steam here. The relationship between Charlotte and Edward reminds me of Courtney Milan's couples--intelligent and respectful. And like Milan, respect is used to build exquisite tension between them. Now, either for good or bad, the most fascinating person for me was the secondary character, Luke. Great hardship and personal trauma has justifiably scarred him, and his struggle to remain a decent human being is poignant. I'd like to see more of him.(less)
I took in the audio version of this book, narrated by a gravelly-throated John H. Mayer. He turned the history into a tale that could've been told at...moreI took in the audio version of this book, narrated by a gravelly-throated John H. Mayer. He turned the history into a tale that could've been told at the back of a dim sailor's dive, a place packed with rowdy pirates and privateers and buccaneers all whipped from salt and wind, all with scars, some with missing appendages. Havin read a few pirate romances, I knew reality wouldn't paint them in such a swashbuckling, to-die-for light, and sure enough, they were greedy cutthroats who pillaged and plundered and then went back to Port Royal (home base for the English pirates) and gave it all away to barkeeps and whores. Giving, in that way, I suppose. Still, every profession has its code of conduct. What impressed me was how egalitarian they all were. All got an equal vote, all got a fair share of the booty, right down to the cabin boy. They even had a version of worker's comp for those injured during the course of action. The captain ruled only during times of battle at sea. And if you were a pirate under the command of Captain Morgan you were in safe hands. Oh, but he was a cunning man. Again and again the wiry Welshman outsmarted the dastardly Spanish. The Spanish in this telling are cast as the villains because they won't allow trade on their lands which the English find appalling. The King and his bureaucrats encouraged the pirates and privateers (pirates with official commissions to wreck havoc) until eventually, the English signed a treaty with the Spanish and the highwaymen of the sea were suddenly deemed to be criminals. For you see, pirates, despite all their wild courage and larger-than-life exploits, were, in the end, political pawns. How that all came to be is a well-spun yarn thanks to Mr. Talty and Mr. Mayer. I'll remember you both fondly every time I toss back my shot of Captain Morgan.(less)
Actually, my rating's closer to 3 1/2 stars, only because I read the kindle edition which had annoying typos throughout and because overall the story...moreActually, my rating's closer to 3 1/2 stars, only because I read the kindle edition which had annoying typos throughout and because overall the story was tad conventional BUT I was surprised into liking Letitia. She initially comes across as being extremely 'blonde' despite her chestnut-hair. The first part of the novel is one mishap after another, a kind of slapstick muddle-up that very nearly made me categorize her as too-stupid-to-live. Yet. Yet, her genuine love for the victim of her disasters, Richard, is so, so unabashed, so unconditional that I found myself rooting for her. Motherless and friendless for most of her 19 years, she has not learned social graces but the lesson she has taken to heart comes here (I don't think I'm spoiling): "You think I'm a child and I know nothing about the world or about love. But I know about love. I know about loss. And I know about loneliness, and goodbyes, and about never being able to voice those feelings again." Suddenly, she was not so silly.(less)
I don't think I can add more glory to this book than it has already received, so I'll just say I felt almost honored to have read it. It's about big t...moreI don't think I can add more glory to this book than it has already received, so I'll just say I felt almost honored to have read it. It's about big themes: loss, redemption, sacrifice, memory. It's also a tale about The Other in whatever form it takes. Twins figure large in the tale, and to go into it to any degree might spoil it, so suffice to say, it is about bonds that can go beyond the grave. But for me, and I'm sure for everyone else here at Goodreads, the most intriguing connection to The Other (Okay, this capitalization makes it sound like I'm talking about aliens!) is with books. I can't imagine my existence without them; a great story can transform me on the almost cellular level. As the great dame novelist said in this tale, "...nothing is more telling than a story."
And what The Thirteenth Tale told me was that a story is the place where the storymaker and the storytaker are prepared to be changed. Vida Winter's cathartic tale brought peace to her and Margaret Lea. It also changed me, though I'm sure that's not what Diane Setterfield had in mind. Still I was inspired and gratified, riveted and restored.
Now before this review spins off into rhapsodic nebulae, let me ground it by saying that the Tale is a ripping good yarn. There's a crumbling mansion, old books, a dead body or two, a handsome man, a ghost or two, and a madwoman. So you can read it and not fear being changed. Just don't be surprised if you are.(less)
I found the cure for the common cold. Last weekend, I crawled into bed and declared myself sick. You have to do that if you're a wife and mother or th...moreI found the cure for the common cold. Last weekend, I crawled into bed and declared myself sick. You have to do that if you're a wife and mother or there's no rest, especially if, like me, you're wicked, too. I overdosed on the big, fat juiciness of The Winter Rose. As my legion of followers know (you know who you are because I surely don't), Jennifer Donnelly's The Tea Rose was everything I love in a historical and this, her sequel, is equally superior. 'Equally superior' is not contradictory. It means that at any moment, due to their excellence, one may surpass the other in my estimation of them. India Selwyn Jones is a fine woman with her plans to change the world, and is completed by Sid Malone who is a fine example of how you don't need to be good to do good. And we have the reappearance of Fiona and Joe, who have a story as meaty as you'd find in any ordinary historical. Oh, and, of course, the villian. Freddy was the best kind: cold, irredeemable and so utterly devastated by who he'd become. Really, the only difference between Sid and Freddy was good parenting. Which is why, after completing the book's clubhouse thickness in two days, I flipped back the covers and got back to being a wife and mother. I can't have anyone in my family go around ripping out their hearts. You'll understand the reference once you read the book. And you will. Because all of us, once in a while, need The Cure. (less)
I don't get it. KA's books have repetitious dialogue, repetitious plot lines, cussing like you wouldn't believe, labored narration, dicks for heroes,...moreI don't get it. KA's books have repetitious dialogue, repetitious plot lines, cussing like you wouldn't believe, labored narration, dicks for heroes, fashioned-obsessed heroines--everything I normally can't stand in my stories. So explain to me why I keep giving her novels 5 stars. Why do I keep re-reading parts, leaving other stories unread on my Kindle? Why, why, why? I've tried self-pyschoanalysis (I'm not sure if that possible--or mentally sound) and the best that I can come up with is that KA writes from the heart. I went onto her website and she sounds exactly like her heroines--upbeat, off-the-cuff, open. Another reviewer laid out the same delicious, toe-curling scenes in Lady Luck I've gone back to and in each one, it's the people laying out their tough, tender hearts to the people they love. And yep, it gets me every time.(less)
This was about a courtship insofar as it's about two people getting to know each other. Never mind that they've been married for fourteen years. It op...moreThis was about a courtship insofar as it's about two people getting to know each other. Never mind that they've been married for fourteen years. It opens with the hero, Winston Lane, discovering that his wife, Poppy, is rather magical and powerful, beyond what a wife usually is. She took giving the cold shoulder to new levels. He's not pleased but then again, he's gone through visually striking changes, too. So then, it's all about how to love this new person. Now unlike a regular courtship, they are married and they know how to push each other's buttons. All of them and quickly. There was a plumpish plot, though I'm thinking that it didn't move as fast as the previous ones. Not that it mattered. After all, it was Kristen Callihan and so far, she can do no wrong.(less)
This is classic Dennis Lehane: tough men making tough decisions and then living by them. In this case the story is about Joe Coughlin whose older brot...moreThis is classic Dennis Lehane: tough men making tough decisions and then living by them. In this case the story is about Joe Coughlin whose older brother was the focus of The Given Day.The Given Day If you're new to Lehane, I'd recommend starting with that one because it's a mighty fine story, too, and will give some feel for Joe's makeup in LBN. Joe, born of a policeman's family, opts for a life of crime, specifically of rum-running during Prohibition, and in so doing, he must 'live by night', hack out an existence filled with gunmen, bosses and the odd femme fatale or two. He's got brains but also heart, and it's the latter which gets him into trouble. I won't detail the plot since the blurbs always say it way better than I can, so I'll move on to what always makes me catch my breath with a Dennis Lehane story: the roll of the story. The way the scenes click together, and then within the scenes the slide into the people's mind and then their flinty, heart-precise words to each other. And then--and then--and then the way he drops unbelievable-must-be-made-into-plaques-and-hung-on-walls kind of lines. My favorite one comes from Joe who, like all smart criminals is a bit of a philosopher. Heaven wasn't in the clouds; it was the air in your lungs. Of course, in pulling a line from the novel, the context is lost but see how Lehane uses ordinary words to radiate how tenuous, how hard-fought, how precious life is for those who choose to live by night? (less)
Courtney Milan is as dependable and sensible as her heroines, which doesn't mean that she creates boring people with predictable lives. It's...more4.5 stars
Courtney Milan is as dependable and sensible as her heroines, which doesn't mean that she creates boring people with predictable lives. It's that you can depend on her to author a story that makes sense. What she offers in Robert and Minerva are two sensitive people who desperately want to do the right thing despite societal and family pressures to stick to the straight and narrow. It doesn't help that they have personal traumas to sort through. There's always a cruel, jaded part of me that screams, "Oh for crying out loud, just get over it!" but then I backhand that snarky side and say, "Look. They're trying to get over it and isn't it the proper romantic thing that they help each other through it?" Which, I suppose, is what love is all about. Helping even when it hurts.