Friday, June 29, 2012

Willoughby's Return: A Review

Willoughby's Return: A Tale of Almost Irresistible TemptationWilloughby's Return: A Tale of Almost Irresistible Temptation by Jane Odiwe
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I was intrigued by this book and while I am a strong Brandon fan, I was interested to see how the author brought back the selfish Willoughby.

Needless to say I wasn't too impressed. For one the author took far too long to get to the point. In a way that is fine for it shows the relationship of Brandon and Marianne better, but if you advertise it to be about Willoughby trying desperately to win Marianne back then the story should, I don't know, be about Marianne and Willoughby a bit more than a party here and a meeting there. It took 3/4 of the book for the author to bring about anything of interest. While I liked seeing Marianne grow up a bit, she wasn't the main character I was absolutely annoyed with.

I don't know what possessed this author to turn Margret into a cookie cutter of her older sister, Marianne, but she did! Margret was one of my favorite supporting characters because she was adventerous and bold. She never understood social niceities and was always honest. Now Margret has grown up and she basically admits she wants a romance with a man like Willoughby. Partly I am to blame for my dislike since I envisioned Margret with a Captain or another adventurer. I had always thought she would be anxious to get out and see the world not caring if it was by marriage or her own way, she would seek out her own adventure out of life. It wouldn't bother me quite so much if the author had stuck true the Margret I knew from the book. Instead this author basically turns her into Marianne and in love with Willoughby 2.0. And what made me crazy was that the guy that I would have thought to be perfect for her freedom loving ways, she dismissed as nothing but a brother like male. Ugh!

If you're going to write Jane Austin Fiction then at least have the respect to not reinvent the characters, but try to stick true to their original backgrounds. Don't like it then write your own blasted story and leave Miss Austin's characters alone!

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One for the Money: A Review

One For The Money (Stephanie Plum, #1)One For The Money by Janet Evanovich
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Let me say that I am not a mystery reader. Romance and comedy are my more comfortable genres, but this book had me rolling on the floor laughing. I don't think I have ever laughed that hard when Grandma shot the chicken at dinner. I actually cried. Real tears.

I listened to this on Audiobook and have to say that it was great. Lori Petty did the voice and she was brilliant. She pulled off Jersey and Italian very nicely. And why wasn't she asked to play in the movie. I thought she would have done a great job. K.H. doesn't even have the Jersey accent. I may or may not see the movie. I don't think I'll like it b/c the entire time I'll be envisioning Lori Petty as Stephanie. And while I'm on a casting rant, the woman who played Sophia on the Golden Girls would have made a badass Grandma!

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Saturday, May 19, 2012

Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor: A Didn't Even Finish Book Review

Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor (Friday Harbor, #1)Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor by Lisa Kleypas
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

This is the second Kleypas book I've picked up and could not finish. My major complaints are

1. Too short! This I've noticed is a common complaint.
2. Because it is too short there wasn't enough time to get invested in the characters.
3. The characters were bland and dare I say, boring. It was just after the first three to four chapters, I usually fall in love with her characters. That just doesn't happen in this book.

I had just finished reading for the fifth time, Love in the Afternoon. Where the characters are witty and interesting to this where the characters are kind of bland and stale. I hope that the next books in the series had more character development and better, more interesting characters.

I'm kind of hoping that she finishes this series and moves on to something else with better characters.

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Sunday, February 26, 2012

It Happened One Autumn: A Review

It Happened One Autumn (Wallflowers, #2)It Happened One Autumn by Lisa Kleypas
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I tried this book once before and I couldn't get into it. After reading 'Secrets of a Summer' I found Lillian and Westcliff to be so dynamically hilarious I had to take another look and I'm not sorry I did. I could relate a lot to Lillian. She is one of the few historical female leads I have been able to really get behind due to her unconquerable spirit and sharp wit.

Lillian is the next Wallflower in line and it doesn't start well. From playing Rounders with some service boys to arguing openly with Lord Westcliff, it doesn't appear that anyone else Marcus Westcliff himself would ever propose to her. Thankfully that doesn't get Miss Lillian Bowman down.

Despite Westcliff's apparent charm, his male egotistical 'I'm the Lord and Master' attitude got under my skin. I was tickled pink that Lillian didn't back down or let him get away with it without a thorough tongue lashing. I cheered her on with several 'You go girl!'s. My husband must have thought I was nuts.

All in all I loved this story. Kleypas, once again, shines with colorful characters, humorous scenes, and lovely steamy scenes that I can't seem to get enough of. I am kind of happy that she didn't kill St. Vincent since I adore him in 'Devil in Winter'.

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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Lady Sophia's Lover: A Review

Lady Sophia's Lover (Bow Street Runners, #2)Lady Sophia's Lover by Lisa Kleypas
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I would have enjoyed this book more had I not read 'Worth Any Price' first. I knew what would eventually happen, but that is not to say that the book was completely wasted. I loved Ross' character. He always had such a solid head on his shoulders. Not like other men in historical romances who go off in jealous rages or fall into melodrama. Ross and Sophia's romance was touching and hot!

The story goes like this... Lady Sophia Sydney would do anything to ensnare the unattainable Sir Ross Cannon. Her goal -- to ruin his reputation and cause a scandal that would be the talk of all London. So she insinuates herself into his life by gaining his trust and living in his house.

The story quickly switches gears from her desire to destroy him to her desire to bed him. Her secretiveness is hardly shown and maybe that is because Sophia never had it in her for revenge in the first place. Not my favorite of the Bow Street Runners, but still enjoyable and worth a read. And I would recommend if you don't want the suspense ruined, I'd read this before 'Worth Any Price'.

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Lone Warrior: A Review

Lone WarriorLone Warrior by Bobbi Smith
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Marissa is captured by a Comanche raiding party. Believing everyone including her traveling companion Louise are dead she keeps hope that she can find a way out of this mess. She doesn't understand why she was taken, but she soon finds out. Ten Crows, the chief, has two sons Bear Claw and Wind Ryder who are at war with each other. In a vision Ten Crows believes that Marissa, the Shining Spirit, will make peace between Ten Crows' legitimate son Bear Claw and his white son Wind Ryder, a fellow captive himself.

The only trouble is Wind doesn't want her! He has put his white identity so far behind him seeing her white skin and blond hair shakes him deeply. Both are struck by a curious passion that neither was expecting, but both have to be willing to surrender to.

It was a pretty quick and enjoyable read. I liked Ten Crows for the most part. Bear Claw was the bitter villain who just couldn't let it lie. There was a smooth plot, interesting characters and enjoyable love scenes. Not really worth a re-read, but still an enjoyable read.

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Friday, January 27, 2012

Tempt Me at Twilight: A Review

Tempt Me at Twilight (The Hathaways, #3)Tempt Me at Twilight by Lisa Kleypas
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This is one of lowest ratings I have given a Kleypas book that I have actually finished. It makes me sad to do so, but nothing within me could honestly give more than 2 stars.

The story's synopsis is Poppy Hathaway is the compassionate, almost to a fault, member of her unconventional family. After three seasons in London society, she is still unmarried, but she has a hope that Bayning will propose to her despite his father's objections. That is until Harry Rutledge catches her lurking about his hotel. In that moment the man who got everything he wanted set his sights on the sweet Poppy who wanted nothing more out of life but to be loved and live a life of peace. Ruthless and almost cruelly selfish he manipulates Bayning's father and Bayning himself so that Poppy will fall into his arms. And despite her family's objections, Poppy, for some unknown reason, accepts Harry's proposal.

There are several issues I have with this book. The first is that Harry is so cunning and manipulative he is almost disgusting. As striking and attractive Kleypas tried to make him, nothing can change how he used everything in his power to manipulate and bend her to his will. That kind of submissive/dominant behavior should be reserved for the bedroom only. The second issue I have is that Poppy in a desperate attempt to love her husband, as deeply as she loves her family has to sacrifice EVERYTHING she said she wanted out of life. She hates London, but lives in the hotel with Harry and acts happy about it. She can be shy and awkward, but suddenly after she's married she is popular and socialable. The third issue I have is that while Harry, admirably?, does want her to want intimacy, he arrogantly wants her to just bend to his will. He is such a man. He wants a willing warm woman, but wants her exactly how he wants her to be. That's not love! That's control. He cared very little for her pain, her loss of love, and being detached from her loving, affectionate family. She is so willing to be controlled it made me want to put the book down and not take another look at it. But since I paid money for it, I supposed I should get my couple bucks worth out of it. Bottom line, while I like the Hathaways (a lot), I didn't care for Poppy and Harry's love story. I liked them better in "Married by Morning". There Harry wasn't nearly as controlling and manipulative. Ruthless, yes, but not so selfishly cruel and demeaning.

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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Sweetwood Bride: A Review

Sweetwood BrideSweetwood Bride by Pamela Morsi
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Stuck inbetween a rock and a hard place trying to keep her family together after both her parents are gone, Eulie Toby, an innocent optimistic simpleton, concocts a brilliant plan. She leads the town to believe that Moss Collier has knocked her up and will not marry her. So in the first chapter, Moss is wed with a shotgun aimed at his back. Furious, as anyone would be, Moss has other plans. He dreams of Texas and herding cattle, not farming in the Tennessee hills. When her five siblings meet him, Moss quickly realizes why she lied. Determined with as much sunshine happy optimism as she can muster, Eulie is determined to be the wife Moss deserves.

The side characters were given an unusual but enjoyable amount of attention as Eulie learns that while she might have lied with good intentions, trying to control others isn't the way to earn family love. As Moss's dream of Texas is fading into a future with Eulie.

While I have a hard time getting into women (female leads) who lie, Morsi showed the reason for the lie. She does well writing the side characters and their back stories. I liked how the family's conflicts resolved themselves, but I do wish Moss had more closure with his dream of going to Texas. I didn't feel it as resolved as everyone else's conflicts.

It's a decent read. Eulie's character is a sweet simpleton that may annoy some, but I wasn't too bothered by it. What wouldn't some of us do for family.

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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

1984 meets 2012

This, I have to say, scares the crap out of me! Stop SOPA and PIPA. The voting begins January 24th so speak out against Internet censorship.

Google's Stand

Reddit's Stand

Wikipedia's Stand

What these media/information sites are all saying is that SOPA AND PIPA ARE A BAD IDEA! Speak out, contact your local congresspeople and tell them to vote it down. We do not want to end up like China, North Korea, or Iran where their information is controlled by the government. That's not America's way.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

6010 Library Visit Final Presentation

This is a presentation I did for my LIS 6010 Introduction to the Profession. The assignment was to look at two libraries and compare/contrast their attributes. I focused most of my interview on the general attitudes and overall general approach/vision of each library rather than on technical bits of information.

Library Visit 6010
This is through GoogleDocs.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Maid to Match: Review

Maid to MatchMaid to Match by Deeanne Gist
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is one of my favorite Christian Historical Fiction writers for her historical accuracy and her light Christian ranting, but this one fell a little flat in the romance department. I really couldn't feel the romance between the two main characters. The side characters were wonderfully funny and light, but the two main ones were a touch half baked. I enjoyed the story but probably wouldn't re-read it. Great if you want a cute little romance with a Christian background and neat historical details.

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Smooth Talking Stranger: A Review

Smooth Talking Stranger (Travises, #3)Smooth Talking Stranger by Lisa Kleypas
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I find that I love this author. Witty and hot! But this book I had to force myself through the first three chapters because there was no one in the book I liked initially beside the protagonist. The Mother, boyfriend, cousin, and even the sister had me just wanting to put the book down and forget it, but patience paid off as the author moved away from those characters and on to very fun and enjoyable characters that sold me on the book. All in all, pretty good, but I think I will go back to her historical romances. They seem to be more my flavor.

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Suddenly You: A Review

Suddenly YouSuddenly You by Lisa Kleypas
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I knew deep down I wasn't going to like this book, but thought what hey I'll try and and see if I like it. I found the romance a little bit stale while the action was steamy. I did not like Jack very much at all. I found his character to be manipulative and beyond arrogant. I could only read about 200 pages of it before I set it down and couldn't finish it. I liked Amanda alright. I found her an interesting roll of modern woman (not historically accurate, not by a long shot) and vulnerability. I think this could have been better if it was written in modern times, but I probably still wouldn't have finished it since I didn't care for Jack too much.

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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Admiral's Penniless Bride: A Review

The Admiral's Penniless BrideThe Admiral's Penniless Bride by Carla Kelly
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This book left almost a sawdust taste in my mouth. Not so repugnant that I want to vomit, but it wasn't pleasant to say the least! The beginning had an interesting hook.

Sally Paul is sipping on her last penny when Admiral Sir Charles Bright notices her and hatches a plan. He needs a wife and his first choice has stood him up so when he notices that she is without means he proposes a marriage of convenience. At first she says no, but then realizes it's marriage to the one handed man (the other hand has a hook) or the workhouse.

It starts out sweet, but then kind of turns stale towards the middle. I was a little bit thrown by the book burning scene since I am an avid fan of books no matter how horrible they may seem, but I tried to take it into context. My main beef with this book is the love scenes. I know some authors struggle to write romantic love scenes, but she almost avoided them entirely. I have no problem with a shy writer, but I almost wanted to scream, "Man up! And write a decent love scene!"

The author struggled with the telling of the story. It almost felt as if she was trying to write it as a movie would show. I've read fanfiction writers who can pull this off better than she did! You have to write so the reader knows what the hell is going on. The story didn't start to get good until the last thirty pages. It felt rushed and poorly told at the end. Excellent beginning, but a stale middle and rushed end made it sit uneasy with me and so I gave it a 2 star rating.

It's a quick read so if you want to check it out, go ahead... it's an easy read. And there were some enjoyable bits to it. I think I would have enjoyed it more had the secondary characters been better developed, the story told better with smoother transitions, and not so rushed at the end.

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