Friday, October 21, 2011

The Kissing Tree by Prudence Bice

This was a really sweet read. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. Georgie was forced to move away from her childhood home and always longed to return. After five long years she is finally able to return to her Grandfather in Colorado. Once back she immediately runs into her childhood crush and the fun really begins. Georgie is a really likable character. She speaks her mind and yet is very sweet and loving. She cares deeply for her family and friends. Our leading man, Ridge, is also very likable. They have nice chemistry together. The supporting characters are also enjoyable. I loved Georgie’s Irish grandfather and the loveable cowhands. Samantha and Dawson were also great.

I really enjoyed the story, the setting was nice. There is even a little adventure thrown in at the end which added a fun element to the story. It was a fun escape. The story did remind me of a book called The Touch of the Lover’s Moon by Marcia McClure, which is also about childhood sweethearts who are torn apart and then reunited years later.

Release Date: December 6, 2011

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Midnight in Austenland by Shannon Hale

I was excited to receive an advanced copy of Midnight in Austenland. I enjoyed the first book and have looked forward to reading this companion novel. I really liked our heroine Charlotte. She was very easy to relate to. Her back story is sad, and it was nice to see the growth she goes through and by the end and the confidence she gained. Charlotte enjoys mystery novels and tends to let her imagination get away from her. As it turns out not all is what it seems at the park and Charlotte ends up right in the middle of her very own mystery. I liked the mystery elements in the story, it was fun. My only problem with the book is that it’s hard to tell what “reality” is. Since the people she interacts with at the park are mostly actors, I had a hard time telling what was real and what was fake, I guess that’s the point. But, even towards the end I still wasn’t sure. So, it’s hard for me to fall for the romance because I don’t know if it’s the actor or the “real person”. I really enjoyed the book though, it kept me going and again I really liked Charlotte and our hero. There were some fun swoon-worthy moments as well. I hope there are more books in the Austenland series!

Book One: Austenland
Book Two: Midnight in Austenland (January 3, 2012)

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Tiger's Voyage by Collen Houck

It’s been awhile since I’ve gotten into a series, one where the characters follow you around even when you’re not reading. For some reason Ren, Kelsey and Kishan keep popping into my head when I’m doing other things. When I heard B&N shipped Tiger’s Voyage out early (the scheduled release date is November 1) I hurried and placed my order. I was so excited to receive my copy and start reading. The end of Tiger’s Quest had such a cliff hanger I had to know what was going to happen next.

Tiger’s Voyage was a lot of fun. I really enjoyed the setting; the whole crew sets off on a mega yacht. I enjoyed how all of them were crammed together and we get a lot of Kishan-Kelsey-Ren time. They once again have a lot of challenges and new obstacles to over come. There are a few new characters as well that added a lot to the story. I would like to know more about Nilima. She seems like she could be an awesome character, if we could just get to know her. Since her and Kelsey are the only girls around I would have liked to see them doing more together. The story once again ends with a cliff hanger, but in my opinion it wasn’t as shocking as the last book.

I did feel that this book suffered a little from Middle Book Syndrom, kind of dragged a little. I’m not a fan of love-triangles, especially ones that get drawn out and beat to death. I felt like it’s a little over done in this book and too much of a plot device. The book probably gets four stars, but because I don’t like love-triangles I’m giving the whole thing three. I just didn’t believe in the love-triangle. There really isn’t a choice; we all know who Kelsey ends up with in the very end. It just makes her look bad, in my opinion. If you want to hear my ratings, read below, but I caution it does contain spoilers.

I have no idea where Houck is going to take these characters. I honestly hope we don’t have to read two more books of Kelsey jumping from brother to brother. Five books of that is just over kill and a part of me just doesn’t want to read it anymore. I’m curious to keep going, but if it’s dragged on and on in the next book I may not finish the series.

This section contains spoilers, and lots of venting.

For the most part I really like Kelsey. I like that she’s become a lot more self confident, can kick butt, is courageous and a lot of other good things. This silly love-triangle really weakens her character in my opinion. I have lost a LOT of respect for her because of it. It’s hard to have respect and like a character when she is being so selfish and using two great guys. For where we are in the story I can understand why Kelsey is hesitant and even angry with Ren. There are a lot better ways for her to deal with that without involving Kishan. It was fine for the first couple books, but she knows she is not in love with Kishan so she should not lead him on. She is keeping him around because she doesn’t want to end up alone. Sure she cares for Kishan and even loves him, I mean what’s not to love? But, she is not IN love with him. She owes it to both guys to choose NEITHER. Don’t commit to Ren until her concerns are overcome. And don’t commit to Kishan when you know you are not in love with him. Instead of feeling sorry for Kelsey, it makes me dislike her. Because when it all comes down to it, everyone already knows who she is going to “choose” so it just makes her look bad. If it was a situation where you really didn’t know who she would end up with then it would be a different story, but it’s so obvious that she ends up with Ren and is just using Kishan. I just don’t want to read TWO more books of her flitting between brothers. It’s boring and lost its tension at book two.

One more thing that makes me irritated with Kelsey is the double standard she has for Ren. She is mad at Ren for leaving her, purposefully forgetting her and for flaunting other women in front of her. Which I totally understand, I would be mad, hurt, and scared also. But come on, she left Ren and broke his heart in the first book. If she had been in Ren’s position she would have chosen amnesia as well. And, she is constantly flaunting her relationship with Kishan in front of him. If she doesn’t want to risk being with Ren, then don’t.

Kishan lost himself in this book. Where was the snarky, flirty Kishan that I fell for in the first two books? He becomes a total doormat in this installment. Sure he’s suppose to be “understanding” and “patient” as he waits for Kelsey to make up her mind. But, to me it came across as boring and kind of pathetic. Dude, you know she is completely in love with your brother and will NEVER feel the same way about you…move on! Stop letting her use you to make herself feel better. Personally, I think he should have gone for Nilima. But, she deserves to be someone’s first choice not consolation prize.

Ren is just awesome. I really like his character. He’s hot, he’s romantic, he’s brave and he’s perfect for Kelsey. He understands her and really knows her. I love that while she is constantly pushing him away, he doesn’t stop fighting for her. He knows her fears and knows that together they can overcome them.
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