Sunday, July 27, 2008

Book Blowout

July Books Read

1. One White Rose by Julie Garwood
2. To Wed a Wicked Prince by Jane Feather
3. Wicked by Gregory Maguire
4. One Red Rose by Julie Garwood
5. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
6. No Choice but Seduction by Johanna Lindsey
7. The Diary of Anne Frank
8. Blackthorne's Bride by Shana Galen
9.The Princess Bride
10. Beloved by Toni Morrison
11. The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Wicked by Gregory Maguire

I chose to read Wicked for a couple of reasons. It was originally placed in my list to get it off my shelf, but I later replaced it by another romance that I have been waiting to read for a little while. When I joined Play Book Tag group on Shelfari it fell into the July tag (Fairy Tales) and also worked well with the challenge (Tag it to the Max) nicely. Needless to say this book qualified for both challenges and gave me one less book to read before the end of August!
I found it interesting to be taken back to Oz. The Oz in this book is completely different from the one I remember in the movie. Maguire did an excellent job creating a life in which we can all sympathize with the "Wicked Witch of the West". Her mother was lonely, her father absent and obsessed with his calling, both were ashamed of their green skinned daughter. Elphaba is intelligent and found something that meant a lot to her, she strives to right the wrongs done by the corrupt Wizard of Oz. While I was bored reading this, it definitely put the Land of Oz into a whole new perspective.
rating 3 stars

Secrets of a Summer Night by Lisa Kleypas

I chose to read Lisa Kleypas's Secrets of a Summer Night on a whim. I was having difficulty finding a title that piqued my interest and was actually at my library. I have heard a lot about the Wallflower series and figured I would give another new author a try. I was not to be disappointed!Annabelle is in her fourth year of husband hunting and still sitting on the wall. Fallen on financial hard times after the death of her father, she is desperate to marry a rich peer. She enters into a pact with three other Wallflowers. Their plan is to help each other in any capacity to capture a husband.Simon is the son of a butcher who has gained a substantial fortune through the railroad and other investments. He has subtly been chasing Annabelle for the past two years, however he wants her in the capacity of mistress!I thoroughly enjoyed this story and I am looking forward to reading the next four in the series. I found myself with mixed feelings for Annabelle. My heart went out to her, the way she tried to hide her desperate financial situation, trying not to suffer from the humiliation of not having a dowry and knowing that if she didn't bag a husband she would inevitably have to become a mistress to one of the many men lurking about. I found myself upset with the way that she treated Simon, yes I know he wanted her to become his mistress but did she have to be so mean. She gets a real eye opener, which sobers her. I fell in love with Simon, well who wouldn't. He was brawny, to the point, and oh so sweet.
I am giving this one a 4.5

For the Roses by Julie Garwood

I read For The Roses by Julie Garwood for my number 1. I can't say enough about this book. I was pleasantly surprised and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It is a story about family, love, loss, reuniting, hate, etc.
Four young boys and a baby girl come together to form a ragtag family. The bonds that hold this family together are stronger than blood. The boys raise the baby girl and give her everything, especially love. Harrison comes to town and turns this family upside down and inside out. You can not help to fall in love with all 5 men. They all have an element that distinguishes them from the next. The things that are said between them and Mary Rose... ahh, I laughed so hard at times my sides hurt (had a different way of explaining this but decided to change it). Mary Rose is a strong willed and sassy character that you fall in love with from the start. I laughed with her, cried with her and for her... she is probably one of the most selfless characters I have read about in long time.
For the Roses had it all. I loved this book so much that I went out today and picked up the Clayborne Bride series and put Come the Spring on hold at the library. I plan on reading these books before the summer is through.
My rating is definitely a 5... if you haven't read it, you really must pick this one up!

Your Scandalous Ways by Loretta Chase

I chose this title for number 6, title by a new author. This was not my first pick, I decided to use Your Scandalous Ways by Loretta Chase because I am participating in the Follow that Book discussion and I needed to be able to read and send it to the next person in line within the month. This being said I am not sorry that I changed my first selection, but I am not ecstatic over this book either. I am pretty disappointed in this book. I have heard alot of good things about this author but I found Your Scandalous Ways to be lacking. I had a hard time at the beginning and kept hoping it would get better but it just never grabbed my attention. It felt more like a chore to read it.
I am rating it a 3. Nothing spectacular but not horrible either.

Let it be Love by Victoria Alexander

I read Let It Be Love by Victoria Alexander for number two in the reading challenge. This is my first read by this author and I can say it won't be my last. Let It Be Love is number 11 in a series. I find this hard to believe though. The book can definitely stand-alone or even be the start to a new series. This book was excellent. It was a light and east read. I found myself laughing out loud several time throughout. Fiona is being forced to wed by her dead father. She flees to England to seek help from her cousin, and head of the family, Oliver. Oliver believes that Fiona is PERFECT for his friend Jonathon., afterall she is everything that he wants in a wife. Fiona is strong willed, outspoken, singleminded, spirited, and stubborn, basically this woman knows what she wants and she is not afraid of going to any means to get it! Jonathon as well knows what he wants, at least he thought he did, but when faced with marriage he runs like a scared little boy. The schemes, the tension, and the arguements will leave you both cringing and laughing. Highly romantic read!
I am rating Let It Be Love a 5, I definitely recommend it.

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

I am using Outlander by Diana Gabaldon for number 5. I decided to read this book, not necessarily for the challenge, because my sister highly recommended it several weeks ago and I have heard alot of talk about this series in several other groups on Shelfari. I admit I cheated and listened to this novel on I said I was not originally going to use this as part of the challenge, but upon finishing I couldn't resist. That being said I need to include the narrator... she did an excellent job, probably the best audio I have heard in a long time.

Claire is a combat nurse from WWII who, while on vacation in Scotland with her husband Frank, travels back in time to war-torn Scotland. She is befriended by a group of Scots, who originally believe that she is an English spy. Claire's capabilities as a nurse enables her to heal Jaime, who has escaped a barbaric English prison. Jaime has vowed to protect Claire with his body! Oh my what this man goes through... he is strong, romantic, and honorable... I just cant come up with the right words for him.

I have never been one for time travel books. I must say it is one of the reasons I was leery of getting into this novel, but I really can say that the TT aspect of the novel did not affect it at all. I loved this book. So all of you out there that have not read Outlander because it is tagged Time Travel... Get over it and read!!!!!
I rated this one a 5.

I read Lord of a Thousand Nights by Madeline Hunter for number 11. I finished this book today while at the gym painstakingly doing my time on the treadmill. I am a little disappointed in this book, saying that I am glad I only spent $3.50 on it. I liked the story line and the characters for the most part. Lady Reyna has a secret that she wants to keep. I give her credit she did a pretty good job doing so, but I really have to commend Ian of Guilford for showing such amazing strength... I don't think that a Monk could have pulled it off.The story itself was pretty good, but I felt confused in some areas. It was like they did a really bad job editing. There were times that I felt that they cut too much out and others it was like the author took an extended break and upon coming back started using the wrong character. Some character development was lacking also.
I am rating this book a 2 1/2.

Monday, July 7, 2008

The Secret Pearl by Mary Balogh

This was the first book that I have read by Mary Balogh and it won't be my last! I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The Secret Pearl has a little mystery, a little heartache, and lots of romance. I rate this book a definite 5... a must read!
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