Sunday, February 28, 2010

Agent in Old Lace by Tristi Pinkston

Genre: Mystery, Romance

Publication Date: May 2009

One Word Review: Entertaining

Author Website: www.tristipinkston.com

First Line: “Shannon Tanner felt as though she’d stepped into a Fortune 500 magazine as she wandered into Mark’s office.”

Synopsis: Shannon Tanner s perfect life is turned on end when she discovers her boyfriend, Mark, is not what he seems. Fearing for her safety, she enlists the FBI, who puts its best man on the job Rick Holden, who dons a dress and goes undercover as Shannon s roommate. For a while it seems that life is safe again, until Mark kidnaps Shannon s best friend. Shannon realizes the only way to save her friend and herself is to send Rick, her only protection, away. Agent in Old Lace is a thrilling combination of action, suspense, and romance that will keep you turning the pages until the end.--GoodReads

Kathy’s Review: I really enjoyed this book; it starts off pretty exciting and maintains that same pace throughout the novel. Right at the start Shannon is kidnapped by her boyfriend Mark (who up until this point was her Prince Charming), although the kidnapping was a little lackluster, it still sucks you into the story and you have to keep reading to find out what is going to happen next. I wouldn’t necessarily change Mark’s character, but when he was in the picture, he just never came across as the devious, underhanded, evil character that he was supposed to be and some of their scenes together were a little anticlimactic. I did like Shannon and Rick though, I enjoyed the storyline and thought they had good chemistry together. I liked Shannon’s character; she was smart and knew how to take care of herself.

For me, there really wasn’t that much mystery going on. I pretty much had the whole thing figured out from the get go, but that didn’t take away from my enjoying the story. Oh, and I have to mention that Brent (a small side character) came across as a total stalker to me. Maybe since I just finished my senior thesis, which was all about stalkers, but I just didn’t like Brent at all and was really worried for Tate (Shannon’s best friend). Anyway, I also just wanted to add that I loved that the story took place in my home town of Salt Lake City. It was fun being able to actually picture all the places that were mentioned in the book. Anyway, it was a fun, entertaining read and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys a light mystery/adventure, with a touch of romance.

My friend Chantele has a fun interview with Tristi Pinkston on her blog.

Bookworm Rating: 4

The Stillburrow Crush by Linda Kage

Genre: Teen Lit

Publication Date: February 2010

One Word Review: Good

Author Website: www.lindakage.com

First Line: “I couldn’t believe it.”

Synopsis: Sixteen year old, Carrie Paxton isn't the most popular girl in her small town of Stillburrow. But that's never concerned her before. Her life revolves around her writing, and she loves her job as the student editor of the school paper. But when she gets assigned to interview the football team's beloved quarterback, she takes one look into Luke Carter's blue eyes and is a goner. Suddenly, she doesn't like her lowly rank so much. Then her dreamy, popular crush surprises her when he starts to act as if he likes her in return. But there's no way Luke Carter could possibly ever like a nobody like Carrie Paxton. Is there? --GoodReads

Kathy’s Review: I was lucky enough to interview Linda Kage a few weeks ago about Stillburrow Crush. It sounded just like the kind of teen lit that I enjoy, and I wasn’t disappointed. It actually was a lot better than a lot of teen books I’ve read lately. I thought the characters and story were deeper than expected. The writing was well done, and although there were a couple things I didn’t care for, overall I really enjoyed it and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys YA books. Carrie was a likable character, really easy to relate to. I like that she kind of did her own thing and didn’t worry about what other people thought (for the most part). I also liked Luke, he is the hot quarterback who everyone loves, but he is also a nice guy. I thought Luke and Carrie had good chemistry together; they actually seemed like a good/believable match.

Bookworm Rating: 3.5

The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan (movie review)

A few days ago I went and saw The Lightning Thief, starring Logan Lerman (Percy), Brandon Jackson (Grover), and Alexandra Daddario (Annabeth). Although I read the book a long time ago and had forgotten quite a bit, I was surprised by how different the movie was from the book. They made a lot of changes and it definitely made me want to reread the book. I enjoyed the movie though, I thought it was really well done and would recommend seeing it. The casting was okay, Percy was a lot older than I pictured him. I thought he did a good job though, he played the part well. Grover was also cast well, he added a bit of humor here and there and he was fun to watch. Annabeth was just okay for me. I guess I just pictured her totally different and I didn’t really see a whole lot of chemistry between her and Percy. She was also a little tougher than I remember from the book, it seemed like in the book she was more academic and would beat her opponents using her wits, not her muscles. So, even though I really enjoyed the movie (and look forward to seeing the rest of the series), I think I preferred the book a little more. In the book we were able to see the Gods more, camp half-blood was better developed, and the overall story was more detailed and the movie took away some of the charm.

Book Synopsis:
Percy Jackson is about to be kicked out of boarding school...again. And that's the least of his troubles. Lately, mythological monsters and the gods of Mount Olympus seem to be walking straight out of the pages of Percy's Greek mythology textbook and into his life. And worse, he's angered a few of them. Zeus's master lightning bolt has been stolen, and Percy is the prime suspect. Now Percy and his friends have just ten days to find and return Zeus's stolen property and bring peace to a warring Mount Olympus. But to succeed on his quest, Percy will have to do more than catch the true thief: he must come to terms with the father who abandoned him; solve the riddle of the Oracle, which warns him of betrayal by a friend; and unravel a treachery more powerful than the gods themselves.



The Read the Book, See the Movie Challenge is based on a simple idea--read a book, see a movie based on the book, include both in your review. Whether yours is a book blog or a movie blog, this could be a way to add some spice to your posts, expand your outlook, and have some fun. Mostly, have some fun. You don't have to write full reviews both the movie and the book. You can write a review of one then add a brief paragraph or just a sentence or two about the other at the end. Visit Ready When You Are to enter the contest.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday + Author Interview

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selections are:

Courting Miss Lancaster
By Sarah M EdenRelease
Date: March 1, 2010

Synopsis: Harry Windover adores blonde, green-eyed Athena Lancaster, but alas, a penniless man like himself has no hope of winning a young noblewoman's hand. To add insult to injury, Athena's brother-in-law and guardian, the Duke of Kielder, has asked Harry to assist Athena in finding the gentleman of her dreams. But the lovesick Harry is cunning as well: as the weeks pass, he introduces Athena to suitors who are horrifically boring, alarmingly attached to their mothers, downright rude, astoundingly self-absorbed, and utterly ridiculous. Athena can't comprehend why she is having so little success meeting eligible and acceptable gentlemen. Indeed, her circle of admirers couldn't be less admirable--nothing like the loyal, gentle friend she's found in Harry. But how long can Harry's scheme be hidden before it is discovered? And what will Athena do when she uncovers Harry's deception?

Why I’m Waiting: I’ve been wanting to read a Sarah Eden book for ages now, and luckily she has a brand new book coming out next week, March 1st. I’m excited to read about Athena and Harry, the plot sounds like a lot of fun and of course I’m a sucker for a regency setting! Sarah was nice enough to give me an interview, it was fun getting to know her better and I can’t wait until next week when I can read her book! Thanks again Sarah!!

Interview with Sarah Eden:

Can you tell us a little about yourself?
According to my drivers license, I am 5-feet tall and 120lbs. Both of these numbers are slightly optimistic versions of the truth. According to the Mother's Day card I received from my youngest child when she was in preschool, my favorite thing to do is “not cook.” Did I mention I like to write?

It seems like a lot (or maybe all?) your books take place in the regency setting. What made you chose this setting for your novels?
I absolutely love the Regency era in English history. So much was going on! The American Revolution and the French Revolution had undermined the very foundation of class distinctions throughout the western world and England began to see their own social structure being to shift. Within a matter of decades, the Industrial Revolution would be in full swing and the seeds of this massive change in the economy began taking root during the Regency era. The King was descending further and further into madness. The social elite lived lives of frivolity, the celebrities of their day. The idea of marriages made for money and connections collided with the burgeoning idea of marriage for love. Napoleon had declared himself Emperor of France and set out to conquer all of Europe, who in turn joined forces to oppose him. How could you not love two decades filled with all that?! Talk about endless plot opportunities.

How did you chose your characters names?
Some characters tell me there names—that makes me sound schizophrenic, doesn't it? In “Courting Miss Lancaster,” the main character's names were chosen very deliberately. Athena's father is a scholar of all things Greek and named all of his children after characters from Greek mythology. I chose Athena as the name for the heroine because she was the Greek goddess of strategic warfare and Athena Lancaster's attempts at finding a husband turn into something of a strategic battle, as well. Harry, the hero, needed a name that was very, very English but also very common. He is poor, untitled and sees himself as unworthy in a lot of ways. I felt like the less unique and exotic his name, the better suited it would be.

What is the hardest part in writing a book? Where do you get your inspiration?
The hardest part? The necessary and constant intake of empty calories. I absolutely require junk food while writing and that wreaks havoc with my waistline. Thankfully my elliptical machine helps me out with that. Inspiration comes from everywhere! Just the historical context of the books provides ample ideas. Sometimes I'll overhear someone say something or see someone do something that triggers an idea. So, consider this fair warning, anything you say or do could end up in my next novel.

What do you think of the cover? Did you play a role in choosing the cover?
I love the cover. I am pretty sure my heart stopped beating momentarily when my editor sent me the file. If it had turned out ugly or, heaven forbid, historically inaccurate, I would have been forced into self-imposed exile. Thankfully, the situation did not turn out that desperate. I really didn't have much say in the final cover. I did, however, submit to the designers a very, very, very detailed description of the main characters as well as multiple pages worth of information on fashions, hairstyles, etc. of the Regency era (including a “What Not To Wear” section).

What three words would you use to describe Courting Miss Lancaster?
Future. Best. Seller. (Are you listening New York Times?)

The book is based around Miss Lancaster finding a husband. What’s the best advice you’ve received about dating or marriage? And the worst?
Poverty builds character. That was some good advice. When my husband and I were first married we lived in an apartment so small it had collapsible counter tops because you couldn't move in the kitchen if both (yes, there were only 2) counter tops were up. And that was one of the apartment's better features. While our financial situation has improved since then, we learned very early-on to appreciate what we have and not get caught up on things that don't really matter. Worst dating advice? Something about taking a guy to see a Jane Austen movie because it'll scare them off. My husband watched Emma with me while we were dating and, while I don't think it would have been his first choice, the fact that he was willing and didn't complain was definitely a point in his favor.

Courting Miss Lancaster will be released March 1st; do you have any teasers for our readers?
Harry Windover adores Athena Lancaster, but alas, a penniless gentleman like himself has no hope of winning a young noblewoman's hand. To add insult to injury, Athena's brother-in-law and guardian, the Duke of Kielder, has asked Harry to assist Athena in finding the gentleman of her dreams. As the weeks pass, love-sick, but cunnning Harry introduces Athena to suitors who are horrifically boring, alarmingly attached to their mothers, astoundingly self-absorbed, and utterly ridiculous. How long can Harry's scheme be hidden before it is discovered? And what will Athena do when she uncovers Harry's deception? Escape into a charming regency world in this delightfully romantic comedy of manners that will entertain you to the very last word.

If Courting Miss Lancaster were to be made into a movie, who would you cast as your leading characters?
Wow. I get to assemble a dream cast, eh?

I'd definitely go for British actors—nothing kills a movie faster than a horrific accent (think Kevin Kostner as Robin Hood or Keanu Reeves as Don Carlos). If I wanted to guarantee the film's success, I'd request Robert Pattinson. But, while he does have the correct accent, he doesn't really fit the cheerful, funny hero of “Courting Miss Lancaster.”

I'd love to see Christina Cole in the role of Athena Lancaster. She is pretty and blonde—definite musts for Athena—but also has a fantastic sense of comedic timing. I've never seen her play anything but the mean-spirited, kinda jerky foil to the heroine, but I think she could pull it off.
Dan Stevens from BBC's 2008 adaptation of “Sense and Sensibility” would make a great Harry Windover. He has that boy-next-door kind of charm about him and a set of fabulous blue eyes (which Harry does, as well). He's also a great actor and I think he could handle the wide spectrum of emotions Harry goes through during the course of the story.

In the minor, but fantastic, role of Harry's sister, Jane, I would cast myself. I would need to work on my somewhat lousy British accent, but I'm certain a few trips to England—strictly for research purposes—would do the trick.

Do you have a particular place to write? Do you like peace & quite, or prefer to have music playing?
I always have music playing while I write. I am very deliberate in my choice of music. The feel of the music has to match the feel of what I'm writing.

I divide my writing time between my desk at my house and quiet corners at various libraries. If I'm struggling to stay focused, I pick the library. If I'm short on time, I stay at home.

Who are your favorite authors? Favorite books?
My favorite book of all time is “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee. Of course, I L-O-V-E Jane Austen. I reread one of hers every summer (and often end up reading multiple Austens once I remember how much I love them).

More recent discoveries (as in, since I reached adulthood) include “Ender's Game” by Orson Scott Card, pretty much anything by Janette Rallison and this fabulous new author Sarah M. Eden—ever heard of her?

And for those of us (mostly me) who are eager to read your previous works, when will they be re-released, any dates?
I don't have any dates yet. A lot depends on how well “Courting Miss Lancaster” does. Once I have something definitive, I'll be sure to post it on my website!

Can you tell us about any current projects your working on?
In “Courting Miss Lancaster” we meet Athena's sisters, including Daphne, who is several years younger than Athena. The book I am working on right now is Daphne's book. She is quiet and shy, but remarkably intelligent and very tender hearted. Like her sister before her, the course of true love does not run smooth for Daphne Lancaster.

Where can we find you?

Monday, February 22, 2010

A Matter of Class by Mary Balogh

Genre: Regency

Publication Date: December 2009

One Word Review: Okay

Author Website: www.marybalogh.com

Synopsis: Reginald Mason is wealthy, refined, and, by all accounts, a gentleman. However, he is not a gentleman by title, a factor that pains him and his father within the Regency society that upholds station over all else. That is, until an opportunity for social advancement arises, namely, Lady Annabelle Ashton. Daughter of the Earl of Havercroft, a neighbor and enemy of the Mason family, Annabelle finds herself disgraced by a scandal, one that has left her brandished as damaged goods. Besmirched by shame, the earl is only too happy to marry Annabelle off to anyone willing to have her.

Kathy’s Review: This was just okay for me. I thought the summary sounded interesting and the whole idea of the story was original. It ended up falling flat for me though. I liked Anna and Reggie, but the story was so short I had a hard time really getting to know them. Everything happened rather fast, and jumped around from past memories to current and the book wasn’t near long enough to really develop the story or characters. I think Balogh was trying to go for a big twist ending that was predictable right from the start, which made it lose some of its charm since it’s clearly obvious what’s going on, even though the characters are trying to act naive. Maybe if it had been told in a different manner I would have liked it better. Also, there is one detailed (albeit short) love scene that really could have been left out, or tamed down. There were also a few descriptions that were a little tacky. If the book were longer I think the relationship really could have been built up and the story better developed. As it was, it felt more like Anna and Reggie’s relationship was all based on lust (and a little friendship) and hardly anything more.
Bookworm Rating: 2.5

Persuasion by Jane Austen (movie review)

Last night I watched the PBS Masterpiece Theater showing of Persuasion, starring Sally Hawkins (Anne Elliot) and Rupert Penry-Jones (Captain Wentworth). I think I enjoyed this one a little more than the 1995 version. Although I re-read Persuasion back in June, I thought I’d add this to my Read the Book, See the Movie Challenge. Persuasion is one of my very favorite Austen stories. I love the whole plot idea of two people falling in love and because of stupid family interference they are unable to be together. Eight years pass and they are reunited. Unclear on how they feel about one another they kind of dance around the issue and because of that they encounter a few misunderstandings before they are finally brave enough to confess their true feelings and are FINALLY able to be together. I love the cast of characters as well, especially Anne’s family, who are all ridiculous in their own ways.

I really liked the casting of Capt. Wentworth; I thought he did an excellent job. I thought Anne was okay, for some reason she seemed a little drab in the movie. I guess I would have preferred a little more personality from her. Even though this was made in 2007, it still has a really old-fashioned feel to it. I kind of wish they would make them a little more modern, like the Keira Knightly Pride & Prejudice version, which still had the period charm to it, but was filmed with a more modern feel.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Boys, Girls & Other Hazardous Material by Rosalind Wiseman

Genre: Teen Lit

Publication Date: January 2010

One Word Review: Good

Author Website: www.rosalindwiseman.com

First Line: “Here’s the deal.”

Synopsis: Charlie Healey thinks Harmony Falls is the beginning of a whole new life. Middle school was brutal. But high school is Charlie’s big chance to start over and stay out of drama, except that on her first day she runs into Will, her ex–best friend, who had moved away. Now a varsity athlete and hotter than Charlie remembered, Will hangs with the crowd running the school. But Charlie doesn’t understand their power until an innocent delivery guy falls victim to a near-deadly hazing prank. Torn between doing what’s right and her secret feelings for Will, Charlie must decide whether to turn in her very best friend or live with the guilt of knowing what he did.

Kathy’s Review: To be honest, I wasn’t thrilled when I found out the main characters were fourteen, it’s a little younger than I usually like to read. I guess I have a hard time buying the 14-year-old romance angle, but for the purposes of this story I could see why she made the main characters freshman. I liked the book, it was well written and I enjoyed Charlie, Sydney and Nidhi’s characters. I also enjoyed Charlie and Will’s relationship (if you can call it that). It had a good message about being yourself and doing the right thing even when it isn’t always popular. Although, I sometimes felt like I was being preached to, instead of just learning through the characters experiences, if that makes sense? Oh, I also find it hard to believe a 9th grader making it on a varsity team, but then again when I went to school 9th graders were in middle school, so maybe things are a little different when 9th grade is mixed with high school? Anyway, it was a good book, a little slow in parts, but still enjoyable.

Bookworm Rating: 3

The Naughty List by Suzanne Young

Genre: Teen Lit

Publication Date: February 2010

One Word Review: Disappointing

Author Website: www.suzanne-young.blogspot.com

First Line: “Sigh.”

Synopsis: Tessa Crimson’s the sweet and spunky leader of the SOS (Society of Smitten Kittens), a cheer squad–turned–spy society dedicated to bringing dastardly boyfriends to justice, one cheater at a time. Boyfriend-busting wouldn’t be so bad . . . except that so far, every suspect on the Naughty List has been proven 100% guilty! When Tessa’s own boyfriend shows up on the List, she turns her sleuthing skills on him. Is Aiden just as naughty as all the rest, or will Tessa’s sneaky ways end in catastrophe?

Kathy’s Review: I was actually pretty disappointed in this one. I knew the premise was about cheating boyfriends, but there was a lot of sex and really bad language throughout. I liked Tessa and thought the premise sounded cute and original, and I did enjoy parts of the book. It took a few different turns that I wasn’t expecting and since I did enjoy part of it I decided to give it a couple stars. I just didn’t like all the “hooking up” and bad language. Oh, I also didn’t like that Tessa would constantly say things like “cranberry juice” in place of a swearwords, it was pretty annoying. I also didn’t care for her boyfriend, Aiden. They’d been together for two years and he still swore around her and did other things that he knew she didn’t like; it just seemed like he didn't respecte her and was just using her for “hook ups”. Again, just disappointed, I think it had a lot of potential but went a totally different way.


Bookworm Rating: 2
(for language and sexual content)

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Lonely Hearts Club by Elizabeth Eulberg

Genre: Teen Lit

Publication Date: December 2009

One Word Review: Super-cute

Author Website: www.elizabetheulberg.com

First Line: “I, Penny Lane Bloom, do solemnly swear to never date another boy for as long as I shall live.”

Synopsis: Penny is sick of boys and sick of dating. So she vows: no more. It's a personal choice. . .and, of course, soon everyone wants to know about it. And a few other girls are inspired. A movement is born: The Lonely Hearts Club (named after the band from Sgt. Pepper). Penny is suddenly known for her nondating ways . . . which is too bad, because there's this certain boy she can't help but like. . . .--GoodReads

Kathy’s Review: I really enjoyed this book. I admit I was a little worried that it was going to be full of boy-bashing-girl-power propaganda, but it really had a good message and was a fun story. Although, I do think its okay to cancel on friends (on occasion) when a hot guy asks you out, just don’t make a habit of it. I really liked Penny’s character, she was very likable and it was refreshing to have a heroine that other people actually liked as well. I also liked Tracey and Diane, and how close they were. Although they had vowed off boys, there is still a lot of cute romance in the story and the club does evolve into something a little less man-hating and more about just knowing who you are and building each other up. There is a little underage drinking (but it was portrayed in a more negative light), sex is also alluded to, but overall is pretty clean. Anyway, it was a fun story and I enjoyed the Beatle references.
Bookworm Rating: 3.8

A Match Made In High School by Kristin Walker

Genre: Teen Lit

Publication Date: February 2010

One Word Review: Okay

Author Website: www.kristin-walker.com

First Line: “I should have known.”

Synopsis: When the principal announces that every senior must participate in a mandatory year-long Marriage Education program, Fiona Sheehan believes that her life can’t get any worse. Then she marries her “husband”: Jerky jock Todd, whose cheerleader girlfriend, Amanda, has had it in for Fiona since day one of second grade. Even worse? Amanda is paired with Fiona’s long-term crush, Gabe. At least Fiona is doing better than her best friend, Marcie, who is paired up with the very quiet, very mysterious Johnny Mercer. Pranks, fights, misunderstandings, and reconciliations ensue in an almost Shakespearean comedy of errors about mistaken first impressions, convoluted coupling, and hidden crushes. --GoodReads

Kathy’s Review: I was lucky enough to interview Kristin Walker a couple weeks ago about A Match Made In High School, since then I’ve been looking forward to reading it. I enjoyed the story, I thought the premise was original and handled pretty well. At times I really liked Fiona, and other times not as much. I think she got blamed a little too much for some things and although it was good for her to own up to some stuff, she wasn’t the only one to blame. In fact, it seemed like some of the things that were done to her were way worse than anything she did. Anyway, on the romance side I liked who she ended up with, but I would have liked a little more relationship build up between them. Overall, it was a fun, entertaining read.

Kristin warned me that there was swearing, which she knows I don’t really care for in books. So although I was prepared for it, I still didn’t like how much swearing there really was. There were also some crude jokes, but otherwise it was pretty clean. The only very minor thing that bugged me was that the last names of Johnny Mercer and Gabe Webber were way over used. I’m sure we know who Johnny and Gabe are; we don’t really need to keep hearing their last names throughout the entire book.

Bookworm Rating: 2.5
(mainly because of language & crude jokes)

Friday, February 19, 2010

The Bachelor's Bargain by Catherine Palmer

Genre: Historical Fiction/Regency

Publication Date: August 2006

One Word Review: Okay

Author Website: www.catherinepalmer.com

First Line: “Like the finest silk threads twisted and crossed to form a net of gossamer lace, Anne Webster’s plan had to be executed perfectly or it would unravel into a thousand stands.

Synopsis: Housemaid Anne Webster will stop at nothing to save her family from their dire circumstances. Even if it means accepting the proposal of the roguish Ruel Chouteau, Marquess of Blackthorne, who has just returned to England from the Americas under a veil of mystery. Both have their own agendas she to use his riches, and he to use her lace-making skills but neither could have dreamed what they would discover on the other side of their scheming. --GoodReads

Kathy’s Review: This was a little unexpected, it turned out to be a little more historical fiction than regency romance, although it did have enough romance to keep me happy. I liked Anne & Ruel’s characters a lot, they have good chemistry and I loved the passages between them, especially early on in their marriage. It was fun to watch their relationship grow and although they had their ups and downs, it only made them stronger. Overall, I enjoyed the story, but at times felt a little bogged down by history trivia. I would have liked a little more resolution with Anne’s family, especially her father. Didn’t really have a lot of closure there, it almost felt more like a plot piece and aside from them being mentioned now and then they were mostly forgotten. So, some things were a little predictable, but overall I thought the story was original and it was an entertaining read.
Bookworm Rating: 3.5

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selections are:

Forget-Her-Nots
By Amy Brecount White
Release Date: March 2, 2010

Synopsis: When someone leaves three mystery flowers outside her dorm door, Laurel thinks that maybe the Avondale School isn't so awful after all — until her own body starts to freak out. In the middle of her English presentation on the Victorian Language of Flowers, strange words pop into her head, and her body seems to tingle and hum. Impulsively, Laurel gives the love bouquet she made to demonstrate the language to her spinster English teacher. When that teacher unexpectedly and immediately finds romance, Laurel suspects that something — something magical — is up. With her new friend, Kate, she sets out to discover the origins and breadth of her powers by experimenting on herself and others. But she can’t seem to find any living experts in the field of flower powers to guide her. And her bouquets don't always do her bidding, especially when it comes to her own crush, Justin. Rumors about Laurel and her flowers fly across campus, and she's soon besieged by requests from girls — both friends and enemies — who want their lives magically transformed — just in time for prom. –GoodReads

Why I’m Waiting: The storyline sounds completely unique and cute. The cover is pretty and I guess it just sounds like a fun romantic novel. I’ve read a few reviews of those lucky enough to get an advanced copy, and so far they all have been positive.

Monday, February 15, 2010

The Girl With the Persian Shawl by Elizabeth Mansfield

Genre: Regency

Author: Elizabeth Mansfield (Paula Schwartz)

Publication Date: November 2002

One Word Review: Okay

Author Website: www.elizabethmansfield.com

First Line: “Mr. Josiah Crowell heaved a huge sigh.”

Synopsis: Always speaking her mind in public, Kate Rendell is ill-suited for any bachelor in Sussex. But, when an admirer of her family's famous portrait strikes her fancy, it seems that the un-matchable girl has finally met her match...

Kathy’s Review: This was just okay for me, it didn’t blow me away, but it also didn’t bore me. It has some nice moments and I did like our leading man, Lord Ainsworth. At times I felt like it was kind of jumping perspectives a little too much, I usually only prefer two narrators at most. Our heroine Kate isn’t the most likable characters, she gets a little better as the book goes on, but I had a hard time liking her at the beginning. Overall, it kept me reading and I will probably check out other books by Mansfield.
Bookworm Rating: 2.5

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday---Triple Feature

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. There are so many books being released this Spring I knew I wouldn’t be able to spotlight only one a week, so today will be a triple feature. This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selections are:

Merlin’s Harp
By Anny Crompton
Release Date: March 1, 2010

Synopsis: Among the towering trees of magical Avalon, where humans dare not tread, lives Niviene, daughter of the Lady of the Lake and apprentice to Merlin the mage. Her people, the Fey, are folk of the wood and avoid the violence and avarice of man. But the strife of King Arthur's realm threatens even Avalon's peace, and Merlin needs his apprentice to thwart the chaos devouring Camelot. And so Niviene must use her special talents to help save a kingdom and discover the treachery of men and the beauty of love.

Hex Hall
By Rachel Hawkins
Release Date: March 2, 2010

Synopsis: When Sophie Mercer turned thirteen, she discovered that she was a witch. It's gotten her into a few scrapes. Her non-Gifted mother has been as supportive as possible, consulting Sophie's estranged father--an elusive European warlock--only when necessary. But when Sophie attracts too much human attention for a prom-night spell gone horribly wrong, it's her dad who decides her punishment: exile to Hecate Hall, an isolated reform school for wayward prodigium, a.k.a. witches, fae, and shapeshifters. By the end of her first day among fellow freak-teens, Sophie has quite a scorecard. Three powerful enemies who look like supermodels; a futile crush on a gorgeous warlock; a creepy, tag-along ghost; and a new roommate, who happens to be the most-hated person and only vampire on campus. Sophie soon learns that a mysterious predator has been attacking students, and her friend Jenna is the number one suspect. Meanwhile, Sophie has a more personal shock to grapple with. Not only is her father the head of the prodigium council, he's the most powerful warlock in the world, and Sophie is his heir. As a series of blood-curdling mysteries starts to converge, Sophie prepares for the biggest threat of all: an ancient secret society determined to destroy all prodigium, especially her.

Anastasia’s Secret
By Susanne Dunlap
Release Date: March 2, 2010

Synopsis: For Anastasia Romanov, life as the privileged daughter of Russia’s last tsar is about to be torn apart by the bloodshed of revolution. Ousted from the imperial palace when the Bolsheviks seize control of the government, Anastasia and her family are exiled to Siberia. But even while the rebels debate the family’s future with agonizing slowness and the threat to their lives grows more menacing, romance quietly blooms between Anastasia and Sasha, a sympathetic young guard she has known since childhood. But will the strength of their love be enough to save Anastasia from a violent death?



Monday, February 8, 2010

The Reluctant Widow by Georgette Heyer

Genre: Regency/Mystery

Publication Date: 1946

One Word Review: Good

Synopsis: In The Reluctant Widow, Elinor Rochdale, a young woman of good birth but straitened circumstances, sets out to accept a position as a governess and ends up plunged into a tangle of foreign intrigue instead. Elinor's adventure begins when she inadvertently mistakes the carriage waiting at the coach stop for one sent by her prospective employer, Mrs. Macclesfield. She finds herself carried to the estate of one Ned Carlyon, who Elinor mistakes for Mr. Macclesfield. Carlyon, meanwhile, believes Elinor to be the young woman he hired to marry his dying cousin, Eustace Cheviot, in order to avoid inheriting Cheviot's estate himself. Somehow, Elinor is talked into marrying Eustace on his deathbed and thus becomes a widow almost as soon as the ring is on her finger. What starts out as a simple business arrangement soon becomes much more complicated as housebreakers, uninvited guests, a shocking murder, missing government papers, and a dog named Bouncer all contribute to this lively, frequently hilarious tale of mistaken identities, foreign espionage, and unexpected love set during the Napoleonic Wars.
--GoodReads

Kathy’s Review: I was excited when I started reading this and realized it had a little mystery thrown into the mix. Although I enjoyed the story at times it was a little slow and I admit to skimming over some rather long passages here and there. I was a little let down in the ending, kind of anti-climatic and things were tied together a little too quickly. I enjoyed Lord Carlyon and Elinor’s banter throughout, I liked that she was falling in love with him while at the same time hating him. The love story took a back seat to the mystery and other characters and I wish it would have been developed a little more. It was still an enjoyable a read and I am curious to see what her true mystery novels are like.

Click here for Jessica's review.

Bookworm Rating: 3



Sunday, February 7, 2010

Truly, Madly by Heather Webber

Genre: Mystery

Publication Date: February 2010

One Word Review: Enjoyable

Author Website: www.heatherwebber.com

First Line: “There comes a time in every girl’s life when she realizes her father isn’t perfect.”

Synopsis: Meet Lucy Valentine; sassy, fabulously original…and psychic. Lucy hails from a long line of matchmakers known as Valentine INC. According to family legend, the Valentines have been blessed by Cupid with the ability to help couples find true love. Trouble is Lucy’s powers were zapped away by an electrical surge and now all she can find are lost objects. But what good is that in the matchmaking world? Lucy is about to find out when she tries to solve a murder and winds up falling into a romance of her own. --GoodReads

Kathy’s Review: This is my first Heather Webber book and I have to say after reading “Truly, Madly” I will be checking out her other series. I really enjoyed the story and characters. I liked that it took place in charming Boston, and had just a touch of magic. I liked the history of Cupid and the family matchmaking business, with a mix of mystery. Lucy was a fun character; she’s pretty easy going and quick witted. I liked her “ability” to find lost things, and I think it will be a great set-up for future books. I also liked that there were a couple different mysteries going on at the same time, which kept me guessing until the end. I liked the love interest; I think they’ll be a good match. I guess there is a touch of the “romance novel” in here, in that it seems a little more like lust at first site, but I think they will take things slow and hopefully build a good relationship. This was a fun romantic mystery to read during February!
Bookworm Rating: 4

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Dear John by Nicholas Sparks (movie reivew)

Last night was opening for the new Nicholas Sparks movie Dear John, starring Channing Tatum (Yum) and Amanda Seyfried. I had planned on seeing this movie anyway, but thought it would be a nice one to add to my Read the Book, See the Movie challenge. I actually read the book about two years ago and to be honest, I didn’t like it. Actually, I didn’t like the ending. I think Nicholas Sparks is a pretty good writer, I just don’t always like where he takes his stories. I do like his movies though and I think I own all of them. I remember when The Notebook was made into a movie they had made a few changes from the book, which made it better in my opinion. So, I was curious to see what changes they would make to Dear John. Luckily, I think all the changes were an improvement and I really ended up liking the movie…loads more than the book. Of course that may be because Channing Tatum is easy on the eyes, or maybe because I liked how everything ends up in the movie.

I thought the casting was well done, the location and scenery were beautiful and overall I thought the movie was very enjoyable. I’ve caught myself thinking about it during the day and even look forward to seeing it again. I’m glad I went with a group of friends, rather than my husband who I fear would have been complaining in my ear they entire time. It has its slow parts, some parts that made me mad and others that made laugh, and of course a couple scenes where I *almost* cried. I think this is a definite chick-flick that most girls will really enjoy.


Synopsis:
An angry rebel, John dropped out of school and enlisted in the Army, not knowing what else to do with his life--until he meets the girl of his dreams, Savannah. Their mutual attraction quickly grows into the kind of love that leaves Savannah waiting for John to finish his tour of duty, and John wanting to settle down with the woman who captured his heart. But 9/11 changes everything. John feels it is his duty to re-enlist. And sadly, the long separation finds Savannah falling in love with someone else. "Dear John," the letter read...and with those two words, a heart was broken and two lives were changed forever. Returning home, John must come to grips with the fact that Savannah, now married, is still his true love--and face the hardest decision of his life. --GoodReads

Altared Plans by Rebecca Talley

Genre: LDS Fiction

Publication Date: June 2009

One Word Review: Good

Author Website: www.rebeccatalley.com

First Line: “Her wedding day.”

Synopsis: The perfect day. The perfect marriage. The perfect groom. What could go wrong? Caitlyn has been preparing for her perfect wedding all her life. But when her fiancé abandons her at the altar, Caitlyn vows she'll never love again. Going to BYU doesn't make that easy, however, and avoiding all social contact can only last so long. When her bishop calls her to be the mom of her Family Home Evening group, Caitlyn is suddenly thrust into surprising circumstances that leave her flustered the attention of two unwanted suitors. Travis, the FHE dad, has plans to woo Caitlyn by using his cowboy charms while Chase has his own ideas for dating her. Will Travis or Chase change her mind about love? Or will it be déjà vu? Follow Caitlyn through all the flirtatious looks, dates, ex-girlfriends, and unexpected surprises.--GoodReads

Kathy’s Review: I was surprised with this one. I thought it would be fairly predictable and the story would unfold a certain way and I’m glad it had a few twists and ended up totally different than I was expecting. I enjoyed the characters and reading about Caitlyn’s story. Caitlyn is understandable jaded after being ditched at the altar; I can see why she would be so resistant to dating again. I admit I was a little upset by how fast she fell in love again (after three dates) and it really did seem like a rebound thing. I just didn’t think they spent enough time together to really fall in love or even get to know each other. Personally, I think it would have been a little more believable if they had dated for at least a few weeks before everything else happened. I think if things are really right then taking some time to date will only make your relationship stronger. I’ll get off my soap-box, but I will say that even though I would have tweaked a few of the story lines, I still thought it was well written and I enjoyed it.
Bookworm Rating: 3

My Ridiculous, Romantic Obsessions by Becca Wilhite (Author Interview)

Genre: Fiction

Publication Date: March 3, 2010

One Word Review: Good

Bookworm Rating: 3

Author Website: www.beccawilhite.com

First Line: “Mom pulls her new toy, a talking GPS directions-thingie up close to her eyes.”

Synopsis: Sarah Howard's first year at the university is everything and nothing she expected especially when a very cute boy named Ben starts to show interest in her. Sarah feels like she's an average, normal, everyday girl. So, when Ben begins to take interest in her, Sarah is in denial. For one thing, last year she was deeply crushed and humiliated by Jesse James a guy who she thought liked her. She's determined not to get burned again. But in her heart of hearts, what she really wants is a Jane Austen kind of romance. Ridiculous, right? That kind of romance doesn’t exist anymore . . . or does it? Sarah is smart and fun to be around and even pretty, despite her Medusa-like red curls. She even plays the guitar. (So does Ben!) Yes, Sarah is everything Ben has wanted. He's crazy for her, but Sarah is just not getting it. She's playing hard to get, and if she s not careful, she s going to lose a real hot gentleman -- her 21st-century Mr. Darcy--GoodReads

Kathy’s Review: This was a fun Valentine read about how Sarah and Ben fell in love. I thought it was a cute story and had some funny moments, awkward moments, tender moments and just an overall enjoyable read. I liked Ben’s character, he was a sweet guy and you could tell he was crazy about Sarah from the start. Sarah was a bit insecure throughout the book, never really thinking she was good enough for Ben. They have some misunderstandings along the way but it all ends up how it’s supposed to.

Thanks to Shadow Mountain Publishing for sending me the book.


Author Interview

Can you tell us a little about yourself?
What's a better way to get to know about someone that to know what they love? So here are some things I love: Tulips. White bread. My kids. Reading funny books. Buttered popcorn. Birds (natural ones, outside -- no pets). Reading serious books. My husband. Sweaters. Cinnamon bears. Scarves. Memoirs. Getting mail. Good hair days. Toenail polish. Successful writing days (a thousand words, none of them stupid -- that's the goal).

What made you want to write a YA novel, and what inspired My Ridiculous, Romantic Obsessions?
I love YA. I love taking the "first" journeys with the characters. And maybe I can relate to teens better than some adults I know... When I started working this story, I wrote a scene that appears in the middle of this book. Sarah's character was so clear to me, her needs and her neuroses and the funny voices in her head, that I just had to get her on paper.

What is the hardest part in writing a book? And what did you learn from writing My Ridiculous, Romantic Obsessions?
I have to remind myself every day that it's the writing that matters. Some days the writing is good (clever, funny, witty) and some days it's just an exercise in self-control: sit. type. stay sitting. keep typing. And although those days are no fun, it's still good for the writing muscles.

What do you think of the cover? Did you play a role in choosing the cover?
Covers are amazing, aren't they? My cover designer, Sheryl Dickert Smith, does a gorgeous job, and they found the most adorable girl for the cover. I love it tremendously. (But to tell you the truth, the photo surprised me, because in my head Sarah looks, shall we say, VERY different.) The publisher sends me a mock-up, and I say (honestly) "It's lovely." Because, guess what. I'm the word person. Someone else gets to be the cover person, and that works for me.

What three words would you use to describe My Ridiculous, Romantic Obsessions?
Funny, quick, (and whatever that word is that means it makes you squirm in sympathy - do you know that word?)

Do you have a particular place to write? Do you like peace & quite, or prefer to have music playing?
I have 4 very adorable kids, and this year they are all in school (!) so I get a quiet hour early in the morning before everyone wakes up (either to write or exercise) and then the Kindergarten half of the school day. That time is ALL MINE. I have a really great Mac in the office that will play any music I ask for, but I get so distracted by it that I find myself singing along or writing plots that match the songs. So I turn off the music and refuse to answer the phone (unless I really need a distraction) until I've made my writing goal for the day.

Who are your favorite authors? Favorite books?
It's sort of like asking me to choose my favorite child, you know? Except harder, because I only have 4 kids! But really, I love so many kinds of books. In YA, I bow before Sharon Creech and Kate DiCamillo. Picture books? Mo Willems. Classics? I love Jane Austen with my whole soul. In general, the best book I've read in the last 5 years is The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.

Friday, February 5, 2010

When Mike Kissed Emma by Christine Marciniak

Genre: Teen Lit

Publication Date: July 2009

One Word Review: Good
Bookworm Rating: 3.5

First Line: “I walked right into him.”

Synopsis: Emma Landon has a plan: she's going to be in the high school musical and sing the most romantic song possible to her boyfriend. She's not looking for the lead, just a decent part where she and Trevor can dance together on stage. The plan starts to unravel when she gets the starring role, and playing opposite her is not her perfect boyfriend, but the school loner, Biker Mike. When Mike kisses Emma at the school dance, everything changes. Emma must figure out what is more important-the way things look or something deeper. --GoodReads

Kathy’s Review: This was a fun romantic read to help get you in the mood for Valentine’s. It’s a cute story about Emma and Mike falling in love while working on a school play together. I was excited that they were doing a production of the Sound of Music. Whenever my brothers weren’t forcing me to watch Star Wars or Indiana Jones I would watch The Sound of Music. I LOVE it. So, I really enjoyed that aspect of the book. It has a predictable storyline, but it was still enjoyable to read. I guess the message is that we shouldn’t judge people, and I totally agree people aren’t always what they seem and you never know a persons circumstance. However, I also think you should make a conscience effort on how you present yourself. You can’t be upset if you dress like a dirt-bag and people treat you like a dirt-bag, IMO.

I liked Emma, Mike, and Caitlyn. Although Caitlyn kind of disappears from the story toward the end, and all of Emma’s friends are fickle and unlikable. Especially Lauren, she was like a rollercoaster, I never knew if she was mad at Emma or they were BFFs. It really is a cute story, very clean and definitely worth the read.

Similar Reads:
Fame, Glory and Other Things on my To Do List by Janette Rallison
The Hourglass Door by Lisa Mangum (with a fantasy twist)

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Stupid Cupid by Rhonda Stapleton

Genre: Teen Lit

Publication Date: December 2009

Author Website: www.rhondastapleton.com

One Word Review: Fun

First Line: “So”—Janet glanced down at my resume—“Felicity. You’d like to be a matchmaker. Can you give me more detail why?”

Synopsis: Felicity's no ordinary teen matchmaker...she's a cupid! Felicity Walker believes in true love. That's why she applies for a gig at the matchmaking company Cupid's Hollow. But when Felicity gets the job, she learns that she isn't just a matchmaker...she's a cupid! (There's more than one of them, you know.) Armed with a hot pink, tricked-out PDA infused with the latest in cupid magic (love arrows shot through email), Felicity works to meet her quota of successful matches. But when she bends the rules of cupidity by matching her best friend Maya with three different boys at once, disaster strikes. Felicity needs to come up with a plan to set it all right, pronto, before she gets fired...and before Maya ends up with her heart split in three.--GoodReads

Kathy’s Review: I really enjoyed this book; it was a perfect read for February. I liked the whole “cupid” angle and thought it was fun seeing Felicity matching her fellow classmates up. There were some funny scenes; one line pops into mind about apples that had me laughing out loud, which wasn’t a good thing since I was sitting at the DMV at the time. Felicity, Maya and Andy were fun to read about and I look forward to reading the rest of the series.

I would have liked a little more background story on Cupid’s Hollow, the history of cupids, and maybe a better reason why Felicity was hired (like a family history, sheer talent…something). I also would have liked to see a few more matches, one a week was a little low and Felicity never really spent any time “in the office” or working on her profiles. I guess I would have liked to have seen her working more?

There is some swearing and one scene of underage drinking. But overall, it was really clean.

Reading Order:
Book One: Stupid Cupid
Book Two: Flirting With Disaster
Book Three: Pucker Up

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday + Author Interview


Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selections are:

A Match Made in High School
By Kristin Walker
Release Date: February 4, 2010

Synopsis: When the principal announces that every senior must participate in a mandatory year-long Marriage Education program, Fiona Sheehan believes that her life can’t get any worse. Then she marries her “husband”: Jerky jock Todd, whose cheerleader girlfriend, Amanda, has had it in for Fiona since day one of second grade. Even worse? Amanda is paired with Fiona’s long-term crush, Gabe. At least Fiona is doing better than her best friend, Marcie, who is paired up with the very quiet, very mysterious Johnny Mercer. Pranks, fights, misunderstandings, and reconciliations ensue in an almost Shakespearean comedy of errors about mistaken first impressions, convoluted coupling, and hidden crushes. --GoodReads

Why I’m Waiting: So, this one “called” to me the moment I saw it pop up on GoodReads. The description sounds like loads of fun, and I love the “arranged marriage” plot for high school students. I couldn’t help thinking back to my HS days and who I would have enjoyed partnering with for this kind of project. I think the cover is pretty cute as well.

Kristin Walker was nice enough to do an interview for me. I enjoyed her answer about what she learned from writing MATCH. It was a lot of fun getting to know her and I hope y’all enjoy the interview as well. Thanks again Kristin!

Interview with Kristin Walker:

Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I'm lucky enough to be a stay-at-home mom to three boys. My kids are hysterical and give me lots of story ideas. I started writing so I could have a creative outlet (and possibly a supplemental income) while I was home with them. I was an actor pre-kids, and I nearly became a nurse before my second son came along. But once I started writing, I became obsessed with it and with getting published. And now I am! And it only took ten short years.

What made you want to write a YA novel, and what inspired A Match Made in High School?
I worked up in age-range from picture books to young adult. I've always loved YA novels, but I wasn't sure I could write one. I finally realized that if I wanted to get published, YA was the way to go. So I gave it a shot. Now I LOVE writing for teens. MATCH came about because I was determined to write a funny YA. The teenage years can be difficult and depressing. Teens need some laughs, too.

How did you chose your characters names?
I'm terrible at names and titles. It wasn't until I was revising the first draft that I realized I had three characters named Carl. But I've always loved Fiona. If I'd ever had a daughter, I probably would have named her that. Johnny Mercer popped into my head, and I later found out that Johnny Mercer is the name of a famous lyricist. I figure I must have heard that at some point in my life and some little neuron was still connected to it. And how cool that both Johnny Mercers are into music? For the rest of the names, I used the names of my friends' children. My brother had twin girls during edits, and I had to sneak their names in there!

What is the hardest part in writing a book? And what did you learn from writing A Match Made in High School?
For me, the hardest part of writing a book is finding time to do it. That was especially the case before I was published. I felt guilty taking time away from other responsibilities, especially the boys. But it was (and is) important to me to have something of my own. One of the things I learned from writing MATCH is that I could do it. I'd never written something so long and complicated before. And the caliber of YA novels out there is very high. It's very hard not to put too much pressure on yourself. I absolutely stink at that. But line for line, I slowly built the novel. There was no instant gratification, that's for sure. Writing is all about delayed gratification.

What do you think of the cover? Did you play a role in choosing the cover?
I love my cover! It's so inventive and eye-catching, and uses my favorite colors. I had absolutely nothing to do with it, other than asking for a couple adjustments to the photographs. I never would've been able to visualize something like that on my own, let alone create it. Mad props to the art department geniuses at Penguin! They even let me add pictures of two teen family members. So cool!

What three words would you use to describe A Match Made in High School?
Funny, sassy, yummy

Match will be released tomorrow (February 4th), do you have any teasers for our readers?
Here's the cover copy:

CONGRATULATIONS!
YOUR SCHOOL HAS INVITED YOU TO PARTICIPATE IN A
REVOLUTIONARY MISGUIDED COURSE CALLED
TRYING THE KNOT!

When a mandatory course forces Fiona to “try the knot” with super-jock Todd Harding, she’s convinced life couldn't get any worse. Until her crush is paired with her arch enemy (otherwise known as Todd’s obscenely hot, slightly sadistic girlfriend). But that’s nothing compared to her best friend’s fate – a year with the very goofy, very big Johnny Mercer.

A series of hilarious pranks leave Fiona wondering: is there something her “best friend” hasn’t told her? Could there be more to Johnny Mercer than an awesome music collection? And most intriguing, could Todd Harding have a heart beneath his pretty-boy exterior?

If Match were to be made into a movie, who would you cast as your characters?
I have several struggling actors as friends, so it's hard for me to answer that question! But I can say that I'd want the leads to be totally unknown actors. There could be a couple bigger-names as secondary characters, you know...for box-office draw. :)

Do you have a particular place to write? Do you like peace & quite, or prefer to have music playing?
I'm pretty good at tuning out noise, but I do prefer quiet. It's so easy to get distracted. I have a laptop, so I usually hole-up in my bedroom and write.

Who are your favorite authors? Favorite books?
There are so many.Any thing from Lucy Maud Montgomery, Richard Peck, Annie Proulx, and JK Rowling. Also John Green's books, Louis Sachar's... And of course, my Debs and Tenners sisters like Kristina Springer (THE ESPRESSOLOGIST), Mandy Hubbard (PRADA AND PREJUDICE), Saundra Mitchell (SHADOWED SUMMER), and Suzanne Young (THE NAUGHTY LIST)

Can you tell us about any current projects your working on?
Right now I'm putting the finishing touches on a middle grade paranormal manuscript. I'm also developing another YA for Razorbill.

Where can we find you?

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

An Improper Suitor by Monica Fairview

Genre: Fiction, Regency Romance

Publication Date: August 2008

Author Website: www.monicafairview.co.uk

One Word Review: Swoon-worthy

First Line (almost, it takes place in the first chapter): “Choose your own husband: or marry a rake.”

Synopsis: A lady in possession of an independent fortune has no need for a husband. Miss Julia Swifton, secure in that belief, has made no attempt to search for one, even after three seasons in London. That is until her grandmother, an advocate of women's rights, rises from her deathbed and threatened, of all things, to marry her to a notorious rake, Lord Thorwynn.Shocked into action, Julia launches into a search for an intelligent, scholarly husband who will suit her. On her way she has to rescue a fallen 'angel,' save a rake from being forced into marriage, defeat an unscrupulous gamesmaster who needs to seduce her for money, and avert a friend's disastrous runaway marriage.Fortunately, she does not have to do it alone. Even if her companion, Lord Thorwynn, is the last person she would ever want to marry... --Goodreads

Kathy’s Review: I want to thank my friend Deb for recommending this one, I really enjoyed it. Also, I just wanted to mention that the only copy my library had was large print, and I couldn't decide if the book was flying by because of the story or because the print was so big?

Anyway, I thought it was better than what the synopsis portrayed. I expected the threat of engagement/marriage to play a bigger part in the story, but it was kind of left by the wayside early on. Which wasn’t really a bad thing; the story was fun and had a few twists and turns along the way. Julia was a fun character, smart and outgoing. She was also trying to figure out who she was and what she really wants out of life. Lionel (Lord Thorwynn) was also a lot of fun to read. He was charming, brooding and also trying to figure out what to do with the rest of his life. In reality, I don’t think a “rake” would be able to change his ways so easily, but in this setting it was very believable. The dialog and interaction between Julia and Lionel was a lot of fun, they had good chemistry together. I liked that the story switched between the two narratives so you could really see what they thought of each other. I image by “romance” standards this would be considered pretty mild, and overall I think it was pretty clean, but there were a couple racy innuendos. A fun regency romance that reminded me a bit of Georgette Heyer.

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Should Be Reading. It is open to anyone and is a fun way to get a taste of different books. The rules are simple and everyone is welcome to participate.

1. Grab your current read.
2. Open to a random page.
3. Share two “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page.
4. Be careful NOT to include spoilers (you don’t want to ruin the book for others.)
5. Share the title and author so that other TT participants can add the book to the TBR lists if they like your teaser.
6. After completing your post, return to Should Be Reading and add a link in their “comment” section.

An Improper Suitor
By Monica Fairview
Page 220

“I should remind you, Lord Thorwynn—Lionel—that I am not a lady you are attempting to seduce, or a light-skirt you are dallying with. I am your future wife.”

Monday, February 1, 2010

28 Days of Winter Escapes


I saw this post on Angieville and decided I had to post about it as well. HarperTeen is hosting a fun activity for the month of February. Everyday in February a new book will be featured and available for giveaway on their official site. To enter all you have to do is answer a simple poll question, and you may just win an autographed copy of the book! Once a week a larger prize will be available, including an iPod Touch. The featuredauthor will be found on participating blogs to discuss their books. Angie will be hosting Rachel Hawthorne on February 20th!

 
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