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Recently Read - November 12 - January 13
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Leigh



Joined: 29 May 2007
Posts: 2689

PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 11:42 am    Post subject: Recently Read - November 12 - January 13 Reply with quote

Robyn Carr’s latest book, My Kind of Christmas is a heartwarming release that further deepens the bond between the Riordan and Sheridan family.

Eight months ago Angie Lecroix, Jack Sheridan’s niece was involved in a motor vehicle accident and almost died. She suffered a major head injury, requiring a shunt. She also lost her spleen, had a collapsed lung and a broken left femur, repaired by the placement of a titanium rod.

The accident made her take a long look at her life. She realized that being on the on the academic treadmill, has resulted in study partners, but few friends. She has taken some time off from medical school, giving herself permission to deal with her uncertainty about her life’s goals but her mother is convinced she is suffering a personality change from her head injury. To evade her mother’s irritating, “I know what is best for you” attitude she escapes to the safety of Virgin River. While her uncle Jack is just as protective, at least Mel, and Bree, her aunts can run interference.

Patrick Riordan is doing his own soul searching. Jake, his best friend died on their last mission together. He realizes that he is suffering from survival guilt but he also gave his oath to Jake that if anything happened to him he would be there for Jake’s family. But Marie, Jake widow has moved to Oklahoma with her small son. Patrick hasn’t been able to work out the logistics of having a naval career and keeping his promise to his best friend. Maybe it is time to leave the service?

With both their lives in turmoil, now is the worst time to fall in love or is it?

I enjoyed this story, but several plot devices didn’t quite work for me. Patrick and Angie have an ten year age difference and the set up seems like a recycle version of Luke Riordan and Shelby McIntyre’s story in Temptation Ridge even down to the fact that Angie initiates the flirtation like Shelby did. Patrick feels that she is too young too, even calling her passionate girl – after they make love, which gave me a little ick feeling. However once the age difference is put aside the romance is enjoyable.

There is a secondary plot involving Megan Thickson, the young girl featured in Bring Me Home for Christmas. In the last year Megan had a deep facial laceration resulting in a horrific disfiguring scar. The scar contractures have caused severe distortion even pulling down her lower eye lid. I had a difficult time suspending belief that Mel or even Becca, the heroine from Bring Me Home for Christmas who developed such a close relationship with her hadn’t done more to get help for her. And honestly it made me sad, that Megan who had her self-esteem eroded by a discontented teacher last year, had to face another confidence eroding situation. Still, the meticulous research about this type of an injury-, plus the realization that yes, many families’ don’t have the money for cosmetic surgery made this an interesting plot.

And while this is not one of my favorite books, I still liked it. Ms. Carr knows how to pull on your heartstrings. And nothing is more heartwarming then family and friends coming together for the holiday. When you add into the mix the gift of giving then it makes the book even more meaningful.

B-
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Leigh



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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 12:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have been on a Sarah Mayberry glom. Last year I skipped All They Need because of the Alzheimer subplot. But after picking up Suddenly You - which is the sequel, I realized I didn't want to read them out of order.

All I Need is the story of Flynn Randal and Mel Porter. After six years of marriage, Mel finally gets the courage to leave after an extremely abasing and subjugating incident. She recognizes that she is the victim of emotional abuse. Years spend trying to please her husband, and fit in to Melbourne’s stuffy high society have completely eroded her self-esteem and confidence.

After finally getting her settlement, she purchased an old farm house and holiday cottages. She spent months renovating them and now is open for business. Wouldn’t you know it; one of her first patrons is Flynn Randal, a man whose family is one of the pillars of the same society that considered her unworthy. Even though he is not shy about his interest, she is never going to put herself in that situation again.

Flynn might look like he has an easy life, but his father’s recent diagnosis of early onset Alzheimer has him giving up his dream career as a landscape designer to take over the family business. Of course he would give up a hundred careers if he could stop this insidious, deteriorating disease that is taking away his father. He stands in awe of the love between his father and mother, and when his girlfriend proposes on their weekend getaway, he knows that he doesn’t have that type of feelings for her.

While he knows that he has too much on his plate, he can’t resist buying Summerlea, the location of the great gardener designer Edna Wallings’ last work. And in doing so, put himself in close proximity to his biggest temptation. He has always admired Mel’s Joie de vivre and also found her exceptionally sexy.
But Mel, is not ready for what he has to offer.

I thought a few things were a little rushed. It is difficult to incorporate a disease like Alzheimer and the issue of abuse into one story. Still
this book has Ms. Mayberry's deft touch. Touching scenarios about learning to trust again, and the meaning of true love- love that survives in sickness and in health.

B

Of the two books Suddenly You is my favorite. It is the story of two people leaving behind their carefree twenties and learning that responsibility is not a keel -death to joy and happiness.

Harry Potter has been living the perfect live for a while. Although his father wanted him to join him in his auto repair business, Harry didn't want the responsibility and headache of being “the boss” or even “the boss’s son. He's working as a mechanic in the town’s other garage and likes it just fine. He does his work, and when he leaves he doesn’t have to take any worries home with him. He spends his time with his mates. Sure he has women in and out of his life, but they know he not ready to settle down. In fact he and his best friend of fifteen years, Steve rag on the other blokes that have fallen prey to marriage and kids.

Work is over, and he ready for the weekend adventures, when he happens to pass a broken down car. His first inclination is to drive on, since even if he is a mechanic he is not obligated to stop, but he recognizes the car. It belongs to Pippa White, Steve’s ex-girlfriend and the mother of Steve’s child. Out of all of Steve’s girlfriends, he liked Pippa the most. She always had something interesting to say and laughed at his jokes.

Pippa had to grow up fast after having a baby. She flittered away her twenties, going from one low paying job to another, and even wasted her time on a Peter Pan boyfriend, but now she wants financial security for her daughter. It just seems that when she gets her head above water something else happens. She doesn’t have the money for the car repairs now, but she signs up for some extra shifts.

After seeing her car still on the road almost a week later, Harry realizes that Pippa doesn’t have the means to fix it, so he does it himself. He is surprised to discover that Pippa is struggling financially. Oh, he knew that Steve was royally pissed when she became pregnant, but it is disconcerting to discover that Steve has washed his hands of Pippa, and his child.

Pippa is near tears when she realizes what Harry has done. It has been horrible trying to get to work, school, and get Alice, her baby to childcare without her own transportation. After calling around she was quoted a minimum cost of $1000.00. While she is willing to accept Harry's labor she can’t let him pay for the parts.

When delivering her car, Harry notices numerous things around the house that need fixing. Since he has the time, he drops by that Saturday to help out. But their wires get crossed. Instead of feeling like his friend, she feels like a charity case and her pride causes her to overreact. Of course it doesn’t help that she is extremely attracted to him and hoped he felt the same way. But after a stern talking to herself, she realizes that for her daughter’s sake, she can’t get involved with a player again.

Harry is not sure what happened. He just wanted to make her life easier and do a little bit to correct a wrong by his friend, but things blew up in his face. Which if he is honest is just as well, because he can’t stop thinking about her in a sexual way. And while she is his mate’s ex-girlfriend, he doesn’t think Steve would take it well, if he started anything with her.

Great book with a great conflict. It is always nice to read about blue collar workers too. If you haven’t read any of Ms. Mayberry’s books then this is a perfect one to start with. Don’t worry that it is a sequel, it can stand on its own.


B+
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Kayne



Joined: 31 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2012 10:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In Sarah Mayberry's Suddenly You, I was surprised and irritated that Harry stayed friends with Steve, Pippa's ex. One one hand I liked it because this is unusual in a romance story, on the other, Steve was a huge jerk and I couldn't see why Harry would want to remain a friend with him. At some points in the story, I couldn't quite see why Harry was attracted to Pippa. He really liked coming to the rescue and it seemed like he wanted to be needed. I also wondered how much she was really into him or just grateful for help. Then there was Harry's relationship with his father and the family auto repair business. Harry worked for someone else when his dad needed the help. Somehow the author takes these contrary sistuations and makes a sweet story. I skipped her book, All They Need because it sounded depressing.

Sandra Marton's The Dangerous Jacob Wilde deals with Post Traumatic Stress. The H remindedme of the real life story of Dakota Meyer who received the Medal of Honor for courageous action in Afghanistan. Addison lived in New York but inherited a ranch in her old stomping grounds in TX. The bantering between the H and h was fun. Some parts of the story dragged for me when Jacob is working through his issues but I would recommend this one.

The Italian's Inexperienced Mistress by Lynne Graham, is a freebie from Amazon. It reminded me of some of her older books like The Spanish Groom. There is a pet dog the H has to win over and some humor. But I noticed some inconsistencies in the H's background. He talks about foster homes at one point, then later in the story his past changes and he talks about his mom's death when he was 18. This threw me out of the story but other than that this was a classic and entertaining Graham book.
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Manda



Joined: 23 Apr 2007
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2012 12:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm on a Sarah Mayberry read too! (I think maybe all these posts did it.) Interesting about SUDDENLY YOU being a sequel to ALL THEY NEED, because I just read another one, WITHIN REACH, which features Angela, the woman Flynn was dating and broke it off with at the beginning of ALL THEY NEED. I was afraid WR would be utterly depressing because the hero's wife, and Angie's best friend, dies at the beginning, but it wasn't particularly. I thought it was a realistic and endearing story about two people moving on after losing someone they loved.

I need to search out SUDDENLY YOU, now. I wish HQN would number connected books somehow.
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Tinabelle



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
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Location: SE Wisconsin

PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 12:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just finished reading Grace Burrowes new novella Courtship about how Percy and Esther, the Duke and Duchess of Moreland, met. If you are following the series (The Heir, The Soldier, The Virtuoso, etc.) you will enjoy this. A VERY charming little tale. I would love to hear more about the early days of their marriage.

I then read Lady Louisa's Christmas Knight which I also enjoyed. The family is quite involved in this story, but I don't think you need to have read the other books in the series to enjoy this one. Although there really wasn't anything groundbreaking in this book, her writing style works for me and her characters are interesting.

I liked Louisa very much. Louisa's "scandal" is an interesting one, and I appreciated how Joseph reacted to it. She has felt isolated by her intelligence and her inability to fit the role of a woman of her station. Add the "scandal" to that mix and she sees a lonely life ahead. When she was forced to make a marriage choice, she did it without all of the drama you see in many other historicals w/intelligent heroines. It helped that she really cared for Joseph.

Joseph is also an interesting man. He was more typical in the sense that he didn't feel as if he was high enough up the social ladder to ever have a chance w/Louisa. But, he was a good person and I was rooting for him when he offered for her in spite of this. I think he and Louisa were well-matched and saw them as soulmates. Each provided something the other needed emotionally. Not the best in the series but an enjoyable read for me.
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Leigh



Joined: 29 May 2007
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 2:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kayne wrote:
In Sarah Mayberry's Suddenly You, I was surprised and irritated that Harry stayed friends with Steve, Pippa's ex. One one hand I liked it because this is unusual in a romance story, on the other, Steve was a huge jerk and I couldn't see why Harry would want to remain a friend with him. At some points in the story, I couldn't quite see why Harry was attracted to Pippa. He really liked coming to the rescue and it seemed like he wanted to be needed. I also wondered how much she was really into him or just grateful for help. Then there was Harry's relationship with his father and the family auto repair business. Harry worked for someone else when his dad needed the help. Somehow the author takes these contrary sistuations and makes a sweet story. I skipped her book, All They Need because it sounded depressing.

Sandra Marton's The Dangerous Jacob Wilde deals with Post Traumatic Stress. The H remindedme of the real life story of Dakota Meyer who received the Medal of Honor for courageous action in Afghanistan. Addison lived in New York but inherited a ranch in her old stomping grounds in TX. The bantering between the H and h was fun. Some parts of the story dragged for me when Jacob is working through his issues but I would recommend this one.

The Italian's Inexperienced Mistress by Lynne Graham, is a freebie from Amazon. It reminded me of some of her older books like The Spanish Groom. There is a pet dog the H has to win over and some humor. But I noticed some inconsistencies in the H's background. He talks about foster homes at one point, then later in the story his past changes and he talks about his mom's death when he was 18. This threw me out of the story but other than that this was a classic and entertaining Graham book.


I can understand where you are coming about Harry and Steve's relationship but I liked the fact that while he knew that his friend was wrong, he still valued their 15 year friendsip. And yes not working for his father was a big slap in the face, but I was able to accept his rebellion too.

I thought that All I Need sounded depressing too especially after my Dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer, but it was nicely handled with not a lot of detail. Still I think the two issues were too much for the book.
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Leigh



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PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 2:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Manda wrote:
I'm on a Sarah Mayberry read too! (I think maybe all these posts did it.) Interesting about SUDDENLY YOU being a sequel to ALL THEY NEED, because I just read another one, WITHIN REACH, which features Angela, the woman Flynn was dating and broke it off with at the beginning of ALL THEY NEED. I was afraid WR would be utterly depressing because the hero's wife, and Angie's best friend, dies at the beginning, but it wasn't particularly. I thought it was a realistic and endearing story about two people moving on after losing someone they loved.

I need to search out SUDDENLY YOU, now. I wish HQN would number connected books somehow.


Wow, I didn't realize that. I am going to have to go back and look at Within Reach.
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Leigh



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PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 2:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Leigh wrote:
Manda wrote:
I'm on a Sarah Mayberry read too! (I think maybe all these posts did it.) Interesting about SUDDENLY YOU being a sequel to ALL THEY NEED, because I just read another one, WITHIN REACH, which features Angela, the woman Flynn was dating and broke it off with at the beginning of ALL THEY NEED. I was afraid WR would be utterly depressing because the hero's wife, and Angie's best friend, dies at the beginning, but it wasn't particularly. I thought it was a realistic and endearing story about two people moving on after losing someone they loved.

I need to search out SUDDENLY YOU, now. I wish HQN would number connected books somehow.


Wow, I didn't realize that. I am going to have to go back and look at Within Reach.


I just went back and looked and Ms. Mayberry just used the name Finn twice - she probably just likes the name. The girl that Finn breaks up with in All They Need is Hayley Stanhope not Angie.

And this is what Ms. Mayberry says:

As I wrote in my readers’ letter for this book, I’ve written two sequels in my career so far, and both of them were completely unplanned. The first was Jon’s story in One Good Reason - when I created a brother for Tyler and started thinking about what growing up must have been like for these two men, I knew I had to find a happy ending for Jon, too, as well as Tyler. This is my second “sequel”, and like One Good Reason it’s more of a companion book in that there’s no continuing story arc or anything like that.


I introduced Harry as Mel Porter’s brother in All They Need, and from the moment I described the man I saw in my mind’s eye, I knew I wanted to tell his story. Who doesn’t love to see a party boy/ladies’ man brought to his knees by love? I know I certainly do, and even though Harry resists his feelings for Pippa, he falls hard by the end of the book and knows that his life has changed irrevocably forever. Huzzah, score one for true love.
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Manda



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PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 4:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ahh, okay. I didn't go back and check. Thanks for the heads up.
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Minerva



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 5:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I already posted this on the Bargain Books thread, but I thought I'd let all the Sarah Mayberry fans here know.

Within Reach is FREE at eharlequin.com with the coupon code THANKSFBFANS

Enjoy!
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goldberry



Joined: 26 Dec 2011
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 6:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kayne wrote:
In Sarah Mayberry's Suddenly You, I was surprised and irritated that Harry stayed friends with Steve, Pippa's ex. One one hand I liked it because this is unusual in a romance story, on the other, Steve was a huge jerk and I couldn't see why Harry would want to remain a friend with him. At some points in the story, I couldn't quite see why Harry was attracted to Pippa. He really liked coming to the rescue and it seemed like he wanted to be needed. I also wondered how much she was really into him or just grateful for help. Then there was Harry's relationship with his father and the family auto repair business. Harry worked for someone else when his dad needed the help. Somehow the author takes these contrary sistuations and makes a sweet story. I skipped her book, All They Need because it sounded depressing.


I want to read Steve's story. There's redemption and love waiting for that man somewhere!
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Kayne



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 7:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

goldberry wrote:
I want to read Steve's story. There's redemption and love waiting for that man somewhere!


Goldberry, that cracks me up because you are probably right. In Sarah Mayberry's hands she could show different sides of the coin and have me hooked in and forgive him of his jerkiness.
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Deann



Joined: 13 Oct 2012
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 8:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just finished The Sleeping Night by Barbara Samuel. I read the book due to the positive recommendation it received by an AAR reviewer. It received DIK status and I agree with the recommendation. I purchased Lucien's Fall for $.99 on amazon for my kindle and am looking forward to reading more by Barbara Samuel.
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dick



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 9:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"The Anatomist's Wife," by Anna Lee Huber. A debut novel, it's an historical mystery set in Scotland. Even though it's in first person, a POV I usually loathe, I was caught within the first page, and despite that point of view, which in my eyes is a serious shortcoming, I recommend it.
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goldberry



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 9:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kayne wrote:
goldberry wrote:
I want to read Steve's story. There's redemption and love waiting for that man somewhere!


Goldberry, that cracks me up because you are probably right. In Sarah Mayberry's hands she could show different sides of the coin and have me hooked in and forgive him of his jerkiness.


And hopefully she will!

I didn't like him until the end of the book when we were given a bit of background as to why he acted as he did.

I just finished reading Gillian Flynn's Sharp Objects, definitely not a romance. Next up... All He Ever Desired by Shannon Stacey to get the not-romance taste out of my mouth!
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