Friday, September 30, 2011

But big girls don't cry...

............although that wasn't true this morning when I was blubbering like a big ole baby.

And there were big, BIG, tears involved. Of course by then I was in "I can't stop reading now!" mode. At 5:30 a.m. no less. No time for Kleenex. Have. To. Finish. Book.

What book would have me up all night and then in tears? The "What If" Guy by Brooke Moss.

(Image from Goodreads.)

I'm sure I won this book. Just not sure where from. It magically appeared one day in an envelope from the publisher. Now that's not exactly an unusual thing around here, but not being to track down where the book came from in an e-mail is. So for now the book fairy brought it.

The book is about Autumn Cole, a single mother who happens to run into her true love her first week back in her hometown. She has bigger problems than Henry to worry about though. Like how to tackle juggling taking care of her father, her son, and getting a job to help provide for both of them. Having Henry's gray eyes turn to steel in her presence, her son growing away from her, and her father's mysterious illness growing more gravely each day are all things she looked forward too even less than coming home to a town where she grew up the daughter of the town drunk. It's not an easy transition for everyone involved. There are plenty of fences that need mending in this story. And a few hearts too.

I usually don't read a lot of contemporary romance as I like being taken away someone old, or having a paranormal element in my romances. This book though, ranks high on my list of contemporary romances. I did mention I ended up crying right? Yeah, about that. Be a good scout and be prepared with a box of Kleenexes. Anything from chapter 20 on will have you leaking tears left and right. I loved the story and the characters. There were a few times I was yelling at Henry........and then times it was Autumn on the other end of the rant. I was totally engrossed in every sentence of this book. This was another one of those books that when you start it, you're not going to want to put it down until you've read the entire thing. I hope each of you enjoys it just as much as I did!

Friday, September 23, 2011

I see your face, but who are you?

^ Seems like a catchy blog title for a romance about people who can easily shift their appearance, doesn't it?

It's not always about what you can see, it's about what you can't see. When I read Poisoned Kisses by Stephanie Draven that's exactly what came to mind.

(Image from Goodreads)

The book is a story about a nymph, as in mythological nymph, and the hydra she's destined to conquer. Nymph's had a tragic history therefore Kyra has her heart locked up tighter than Fort Knox. Marco on the other hand has seen some of the worlds horrors and has become as hard as stone. Their first encounter ends with Kyra trying to take Marco's life and accidentally being poisoned by his blood in the process. From there their romance isn't any easier as they both fight their inner demons............andddd a couple of war gods. One of which being Kyra's father Ares. (Just hearing the name Ares always makes me think of Kevin Smith's character on Xena.) It all comes down to Marco having to completely having faith in Kyra, and her having faith in herself and the power of their love, in order for them to have a future.

This book was not an all-nighter for me. Nor was it an everyday read. I picked it up a couple of times a week, read as much as I could and then left it for a day or two. Now don't think that I didn't like the story, because I did. I think it had more to do with the amount of violence and the real world problems that exist in Rwanda and other war torn countries. When we read romances we're hoping to escape from everything real world related, even if just in our minds, and if if just for a fraction of time. I loved the tie in's of mythology and how the Gods and Goddess' powers would've transform over the years to current times. All in all I liked this book and the short story that happened to be included in the back.

We're all mad here....

Well of course we all are.........aren't we? Well I'm aware I am and if you're not I'll just imagine you are! (LOL!)

So I happened upon the novel "Reign of Madness" by Lynn Cullen a few times and it caught my interest enough that I entered a Goodreads contest to win a copy. Luckily I won a copy and this past Wednesday I picked it up after watching "Elizabeth" the movie for the first time. It set up the mood for this book, very much so, as I saw lots of similarities between the two.

Reign of Madness is about the early life of Juana of Castile, otherwise later known as Juana the Mad. She was born into the royal family of Queen Isabel and King Fernando. She's far enough down in line to the throne that she is happy to become and archduke's wife. Her husband is known as Philippe the Handsome and their marriage starts out happy and full of love. But as her line to the throne grows shorter she encounters more and more problems within her marriage. Eventually her husband decides he would rather have control over lands and the accompanying titles rather than the happiness and love of his wife. Soon after he dies his lies live on to ruin Juana and leaves everyone believing she's gone mad with loss.

This story gripped me from the very first page and I stayed up all night until I finished the last page. To me that's the true sign of a great book, it can claim all-nighter status. The story is well written and was easily readable. Every now and then when you come across a historical tale like this the wording is usually hard on a reader, I had no trouble with that here. I also loved the author's take on the historical tale she had at hand. Often it's hard to piece together a historical person's life, but Juana's life and story were vibrant to me. Each chapter played out like scenes in a movie. I don't remember what was on TV or notice how fast the night got away from me while reading. This is no small book either, it is a novel through and through. 433 pages were read in about 9 hours, and worth absolutely every minute of it to me. I took a catnap after I finished and when I awoke I immediately went to the web looking for more information on Juana. I definitely recommend it to everyone!

(Image from Goodreads)

Friday, September 9, 2011

Double the pleasure, double the fun!

I got a Kindle this week! 

You might have heard my shriek wherever you are. It was heard around the world I'm sure. I had been fighting the e-book evolution, hard. Truly a non-believer. Here recently though I've noticed a lot more self published works and said works only in e-book format. I live in the boonies and my internet has a limit so continually downloading books to Kindle for PC wasn't really an option. Plus who wants to have to lug around a seven pound PC everywhere just to be able to read a book? So the time had come. I cracked. I checked out my options and it just so happened that one of our bills came in lower this month. Just enough to buy myself a Kindle. I ordered it Monday. It was here Thursday. I've read a book and a half so far. Which leads me to my, "OMG THAT WAS AN AWESOME BOOK!", moment.

My first book to load to my Kindle was "Breeding Stock" by Melissa Harlow. 

(Image from Goodreads)

Let me start with the fact this book isn't for the prudish or faint of heart. It's unique and cutting edge with it's story. For me though, I thought it was fresh and it completely consumed me from page one. If you've ever seen the movie "The Crazies" (and if you haven't you should), this to me is the erotic side to that movie. It's also completely feasible for this story to take place in the future. 

'Drea loves Jackson. Jackson as male as he is, of course only realizes this too late. Even further behind that discovery is the realization that he loves her too. She leaves home to do something other than farming and to forget about Jackson. Until the virus hits. Humans and animals alike start dying off by the droves. The country is in chaos. 'Drea hopes she can go home and find Jackson still alive untouched by the virus that has left the world in shambles. Jackson meanwhile, has started a colony where the men inside take    
turns trying to impregnate the women in order to repopulate. The 
colony runs smoothly until Jackson's second in command Bennett brings in 'Drea. The women are to be shared and after seeing the way 'Drea responds to Bennett, Jackson doesn't mind sharing her with his co-founder. The other men however, he wants to keep her from, which goes against all the rules and principles he's set at the colony. It all comes down to Jackson and Bennett realizing they have to leave the colony in order to keep 'Drea theirs, and only theirs. 

I was truly captivated by this book. I started reading it midnight Thursday night and finished it  at 2 in the afternoon Friday. I've been raving to whomever I know will listen about how much I loved this book. Some of Melissa Harlow's other books are even more intriguing and I'm excited to see if they hold my attention as tightly as this one did.