Romance

Book’s That Starts Out Slow. To finish or Not Is The Question?

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I sometime make myself finish reading a book that starts out slow or I go right to the end of the story. Let me know how you finish a slow starting book.

When I am browsing for new books to read, I will read the beginning, middle, and end of a book before buying.

I have a book I am trying to read and I am finding it very hard to finish. I love this author other books but for some reason I can’t finish her last book. The problem is that it ‘s not very realistic and the male is very weak.

The story is about a couple who divorce but still love each other. They did not know how to commucate with each other. After they divorce he has a daugther out of weblock, and they live in a small town so that cause a big up roar. His mother does not like his ex-wife, but loves his feancil.

The fekancil is up to know good, everyone see it but him.

I was looking forward to reading this book and I feel let down. I don’t know if I will finish this book.

The Bourbon Kings by J. R. Ward

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The Bourbon Kings

This book reads like an over-the-top primetime soap opera from the 80’s. Think Dynasty, Dallas or Falcon Crest. There are several storylines going on simultaneously, like the different scenes on any soap. And just like on my beloved soaps, the characters in this book piss me off to no end! I think part of my enjoyment of the soaps is the fun I have complaining about them with fellow fans, and that’s exactly what The Bourbon Kings make me want to do. Just like I yell at the TV, I want to yell at the book. Make no mistake, these characters are FLAWED! There are those you root for and those you despise.

I think the problem I had with the book is the hero, Lane. We are so used to uber-alpha males from J. R. Ward, that Lane comes across as a weak, spoiled brat. We’re used to our J. R. Ward heroes overcoming their pasts and becoming dominant, not running away from their lives and problems. But I do have to admit that Lane ends up stepping up to the challenges his family is facing, even though he really wants leave all the madness behind. Plus, we had a LOT of backstory to learn about this family, so much of the book is just that, a catch up on the backstory. I just want all the secrets of the past to be revealed so that we can just focus on the present events. But that is one of the drawbacks of the reunion romance trope. The readers are essentially just dropped right into the middle of these characters lives, so it felt like we had a lot of catching up to do.

All in all, I really liked The Bourbon Kings, once I let go of my preconceived expectations of what I’ve come to expect from J. R. Ward, and just got into my soap opera watching mind-set. Once I did that the book was very enjoyable. I can’t wait until the next episode! 🙂

posted by LaTisha Walker

Three Sisters by Susan Mallery

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I chose to review this book because of the author, Susan Mallery. She is an author who never disappoints. I can read anything by her! I wasn’t as enthusiastic to read a “chick lit” book, but I said, “Hey, it’s Susan Mallery, so it’s bound to be good.” I’m so glad that I did, as I absolutely loved the book! I did go back and read the first book in the Blackberry Island series first, and it was really good too. I liked that although the books are related by geography, and the two main characters from the first book made a brief cameo in the second, the books can stand alone completely by themselves.

Three Sisters refer to the three Victorian houses which stand on the highest hill on Blackberry Island. Two of the homes have been in families for generations, while the middle home has fallen to neglect and disrepair. At the beginning of the book, new comer to the island, Andi has purchased the middle home, which she plans to renovate into a doctor’s office and living space. Andi is a pediatrician from a family of overachieving doctors, who consider her a “slacker.” To make matters worse, she was recently left at the altar by her boyfriend of ten years!

Andi meets her neighbors Zeke and Boston King first, as Zeke and his brother Wade own King Construction that is doing the renovation of Andi’s house. We soon learn that Boston and Zeke have lost their son of 6 months to a heart defect and are still trying to recover from the loss. Boston is an artist who can’t produce any new art, except for pictures of her precious lost son, and Zeke has turned to drink.

On the other side of Andi are Deanna and Colin Phillips and their five daughters, the youngest two being twins. Deanna seems to be the epitome of the perfect wife and mother, and she is, if all that entailed was feeding your children only homemade organic food and making sure that their clothes are clean, tidy and matching. On day Deanna comes across a photo on her husband’s phone which leads her to believe that he’s having an affair. It’s not true, but the confrontation allows Colin to express his unhappiness in their marriage. This unhappiness stems from Deanna’s OCD as a result of an abusive childhood. Deanna is not very well liked by others, but I believe this is because she doesn’t realize that she has OCD, so she sees everyone else as having the problem, not her. After all, she’s perfect…

What I liked most about this book is the way Susan Mallery took three completely different women and brought them together by finding common ground. I liked the fact that at the beginning of the book these women really had no history between them. Boston and Deanna are neighbors, but didn’t really know each other. As a matter of fact, they had no desire to get to know each other! Each had their own thoughts and misconceptions about the other. I think the coming of Andi really bridged the literal space between their homes. It was like that run down house in the middle really kept them apart.

I recently suggested Three Sisters as a book club read. I told the group about how there are even suggested discussion questions at the end of the book! Susan Mallery never fails to pull a plethora of emotions with her stories, and this book was no exception. I laughed; I cried; I got mad. I LOVED IT!

A Review of “Bared To You”

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The book scheduled to be read for our August meeting was Bared to You by Sylvia Day.  When I looked back at our review of it, I really had to shake my head; because it was so very basic.  This was not a basic book at all.  No…it was actually a book that required a much more in-depth look at the beginning of what could be a great series.  So in order to give it the review it deserves I’m going to attempt to put my thoughts down on paper.  Mind you, I read this book a few months ago (because I was curious to see for myself what people were talking about and the Heroes & Heartbreakers review REALLY had me intrigued) so my memory may be a little hazy.

First let me give a little background.  Bared to You is a story that has been said to closely resemble Fifty Shades of Gray.  I have not read Fifty Shades so I cannot attest to how good it is.  I chose not to read Fifty because I was told it was possibly a fan fiction novel of another story that I chose not to read and watch because I am not a fan of the Young Adult genre.  And I also have read other novels by Sylvia Day that I really enjoyed.  So let me begin….

The story is about Eva Tramell and Gideon Cross.  Eva is a recent college graduate who has left the west coast to work in a New York City advertising agency.  While doing a trial run of her route to work, she collides into an extremely handsome gentleman who just so happens to be the owner of the building.  She does not know this at the time, she just knows that he is sharply dressed in a three-pieced suit, he looks damn good, and there is an instant sexual charge when they touched.  Gideon Cross is the young, billionaire owner of Cross Industries.  The “charge” that Gideon felt with prompted him to pay attention to Eva’s work badge and find out more about her within his company.  When the opportunity presented itself to get to know her better he grabbed it.  Initially Eva resisted any type of relationship with Gideon (he propositioned her to just have a quick affair), she made him come to her the right way… respectfully.  Once the affair does start Eva and Gideon realize that it something more than what either bargained for.  They both have had traumatic events in their lives that have caused them to be resistant to a “real” relationship.  They both don’t want to be involved with anyone that would require them to open themselves up to anything deep.   Also because of their past traumas, they both suffer from issues of distrust, slight possessiveness and what I like to call the “flight syndrome” (when you don’t like a situation, you run away from it to avoid dealing with it).  Even with all the things that they go through, the characters do not come off as young (they are both in the twenties) or weak-minded.

There is secondary storyline that is slowly being developed with Cary, Eva’s best friend who also has commitment issues.  You get to know Cary; where you feel there is a story waiting to erupt.  You feel like he might be up for a book of his own.

I’m being vague about the storyline (not giving spoilers) because I really want you to read this book.  I finished it wanting to know what happens next.  I want to know about the “event” that makes Gideon dislike/act coldly to his family; what to makes him have the nightmares; what makes him afraid of commitment.  I want to know how Eva handles her relationship with her mother who feels guilty because Eva was sexually assaulted by her step-brother; does she learn to confront Gideon when she is upset about something and not “run” and not respond to phone calls or text for days; I want to know how she grows in her job and the friendship that grows between her and her boss.  I want to know what happens to Cary.  I could not believe that I have to wait another month (in my case it has been three months) for the next book.  I mean, the Fifty Shades books came out bam-bam-bam (if I’m wrong about how soon they were available, correct me).  But I have to say in all honesty, that feeling that I have about wanting the next book is an indicator that the author has done their job.  They have pulled me into the world within their book.  I have begun to feel something for the characters.  I want to know what happens next.

I’m not a professional reviewer; I’m a lover of books, a seeker of a good read, a hater of junk.  I have read some reviews of Bared and I actually feel bad that a lot of people found this book after reading Fifty.  I’ve come to the realization that readers tend to either love or hate books that are similar to another book they’ve read.  They compare them all the time and the second book may get the short end of the stick.  I think that this is what happened with Bared in this case.  So…my final take on Bared to You.  I think you should read it.  I think you should read the next book in October.

Back on board with J R Ward

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Cover of "Voyager"
Cover of Voyager

I had quit reading the Brotherhood after Jane became a ghost.  I was really upset and didn’t want to read anymore about them.  My group kept telling me it got better and to come on back.  Well I did but it was a half hearted attempt.  They were discussing the latest one and it really got my attention so I went back to John Mathews book and fell in love all over again.  Although I did get real sick and tired of the Qhuinn and Blay whining that was going on but I just overlooked them and ran through two real quick.  Now I’m at Thorments (I might not be spelling their names right but you know who I mean) and can’t wait to get into it.  When we were at Lori Fosters I ran through Laurann Dohner (New Species) and was captivated.  I’m at the last book Tiger and will eventually get to it also.  

I’m in love with Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series.  I’m relistening to them.  I just think its a great love story.  The girls can’t get past the rape he allowed to save Claire but I think that was the most touching point in the book.  What would you endure for a loved one.  I’m at Voyager right now with about 9 disc to go to the end.  I can’t wait until the new book comes out in the series.  I will be caught up on the lives of Jamie and Claire and ready to go.

I read, listen to disc and have a couple of Sansa clips so I’m always good to go.  I never leave home without one or more of them.  I have turned around and went back home because I didn’t have one of them that I wanted to listen to.  I have the books written down that I have on my Sansa clip so I can always know what I have to listen to. 

We had a very interesting phone chat with Casey Holloway author of Get’N Hammered this month.  We met him at Lori Foster when we were in a ‘How to Have a Successful Book Club’ round table discussion with the ladies of Fresh Fiction.  We took some great ideas away from this group.

I do believe that I will start Rebecca Zanetti’s series before the month is out.  I also have to read Sylvia Day‘s Bared to You since that is what we will discuss at book club meeting in August.  It would be really wonderful if anyone wanted to join us.  I believe we will be at Panera Bread on 82nd street the 2nd Saturday in August at 6:00 pm.  Okay book club members chime in and let me know if this is the right info.  I would hate to give out wrong information.  Well I’m going to go now but will check back in soon.  Hope to see some new faces next month. 

Bertlyn