Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Alien Revealed by Lilly Cain

Alien RevealedAlien Revealed by Lilly Cain

Alinna is an alien (very human like) that has been sent to scout the earth and decide if they would be good allies for her people. She is instructed to stay out of sight and out of the way. Fate has other plans when her small craft crashed near an Earth space base. She is retrieved by Major David Brown who assumes she is a doctor he has been waiting to show up, but he soon realizes she may not be who he thinks she is.

Whoa Nelly! Talk about a short but very hot romance. The short little book had me blushing like you wouldn't believe. Alinna and David manage to somehow overcome their initial distrust and sparks go flying - perhaps fireworks would be more appropriate. All that aside, the story was cute and entertaining. It ended quite abruptly and seemed almost unfinished though.


Friday, July 23, 2010

Book Review: Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler

Twenty Boy SummerTwenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler

Anna has been best friends with Frankie and her older brother Matt for as long as she can remember. They go and do everything together until one awful day when the unthinkable happens. There is an accident and Matt dies, while Anna and Frankie live. As the girls and their families mourn and try to move on with their lives, Frankie has an idea. When they go on vacation, they make every effort to have a summer fling - to have fun and leave their sadness at home for a few weeks.

Anna reluctantly agrees. In their search for a summer fling they become different people. They lie and sneak around not only from other people but from themselves. Both have secrets they struggle to keep hidden. 

While this was a touching story with some lively characters, much of it seemed disjointed or overly stereotyped. An enjoyable read, but could have been better.


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Book Review: Daughters of the Witching Hill by Mary Sharratt

Daughters of the Witching HillDaughters of the Witching Hill by Mary Sharratt

Bess Southerns is a charmer, a wise woman, a healer - trained in the forbidden folk magic of the Catholic church. By helping her neighbors she risks bringing the law down on not only herself, but her family and friends. We watch as she has a family, some that stand by her and some that leave because they fear her skills. We follow the family through her daughter and her granddaughter.

When a neighbor accuses someone of witchcraft, however, the hunt for witches begins and Bess finds her family under scrutiny. This was an interesting look into not only the way the lower class lived, but also how the fear of witches could be contagious, drawing many innocents in along with the guilty.

The book could have been a tad bit shorter. There were a few times I had to set it down because I felt that it had stalled and I needed a break from it.


Book Review: Hero Wanted by Dan McGirt

Hero WantedHero Wanted by Dan McGirt

If you enjoyed Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, you will love this comical fantasy story of Jason Cosmo. A woodcutter by trade, forced to be a hero by destiny and possibly a case of mistaken identity. As Jason flees his hometown of Lower Hicksnittle, he finds unlikely allies in a wizard, Mercury Boltblaster, and the seductive twins, Sapphrina and Rubis. A very entertaining tale with all the classic fantasy elements.


Thursday, July 8, 2010

4th Round Winner and Book Review: The Season by Sarah MacLean

The SeasonThe Season by Sarah MacLean

I read this book as part of a debut book contest hosted at http://theshadyglade.blogspot.com and it won my vote for the round. Alexandra is about to enter her first London season...much to her dismay. She has little patience for gowns, balls, dancing, or potential husbands. Somehow she makes her way successfully through the myriad of balls and gatherings.

On the other hand, the close family friend, Gavin, is still recovering from the sudden and suspicious death of his father. When spies, espionage, and murder come into play he goes on the hunt for his father's murderer. In the midst of this, sudden feelings for a certain young woman come to the surface. Unfortunately, Alexandra insists on helping, and getting herself into and out of trouble.

A great story. Pegged as a romance by some, I felt that the romance was there but not so much that it was distracting. I'm glad I was selected to judge so I could have a reason to pick this up and bump it to the top of the reading list.


Book Review: Wildthorn by Jane Eagland

WildthornWildthorn by Jane Eagland

Louisa Cosgrove is in trouble. On the way to stay with some friends of her older brothers, she finds the carriage stopped in front of an asylum instead. An asylum for mentally ill women, and they seem to think she's someone names Lucy Childs. Try as she might to convince them of their mistake, they just assume her "confusion" is all part of her mental condition.

Louisa was an oddity for her time. She wanted to be a doctor like her father in an era where females even being nurses was still frowned upon. As she tries to unravel the threads of her past and figure out how she ended up in the asylum, Wildthorn, we get to see the difficulties and joys of her life as she grew up. We also get a very intimate look into what asylum life was like - and it wasn't very pretty.

Louisa finds unexpected friends, and surprising enemies as she goes. I was very surprised when the betrayer of her trust is finally revealed and is forced to come to terms with what happened to Louisa.

While the story was interesting and moved along fairly well, there were times I had a little trouble believing in some of the characters, at times they seemed very static.


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Book Review: Love Remains by Kaye Dacus

Love Remains (The Matchmakers)Love Remains (The Matchmakers) by Kaye Dacus

Zarah and Bobby have a history, one that didn't end well the last time they parted - with broken hearts and misconceptions. When Bobby returns home to start his new job with the Tennessee investigation team and finds himself investigating Zarah, her boss, and her entire team at the Tennessee Historical Society. He must put his feeling for her, both past and present to solve the case fast so that he can see if she'll let him try again. To top it all off, their Grandparents are shooting for a match made in heaven.

I didn't quite find myself enjoying either of the main characters. I was drawn to some of the side characters and might pick up the next one in the series to see if I like them better. Zarah was too caught up in being perfect to let herself have fun, and Bobby was so caught up in trying to prove he was worth the time of day that it almost got annoying. Not my favorite read for the year.


Friday, July 2, 2010

Book Review: The Keening by A. LaFaye

The KeeningThe Keening by A. LaFaye

Influenza used to be one of the most dreaded diseases in the world. When Lyza's mother succumbs to the disease, it is up to Lyza, a teenage girl, to take care of her father and prevent the rest of the family from putting him in the work farm for people who are not quite there mentally. Lyza struggles to find a way to save her father, remember her deceased mother's wishes, and figure out who she really is.

The character of Lyza was fascinating. She reminded me of myself so much as a teenager. Knowing where you wanted to go and who you wanted to be, but not having a clear picture of how to get there. I loved the way she related to her mother and father, and was willing to sacrifice anything to save her father from being committed to the work farm.

The story concentrates very much on Lyza and her father, rarely leaving the small world of their family, and then only when necessary. This was the perfect way to write this very intimate story of the love between a daughter and her father, and their search to find their way in a world that has suddenly changed.


Book Review: The Writing Circle by Corrine Demas

The Writing CircleThe Writing Circle by Corrine Demas

This review was probably one of the hardest I had to write. I was so torn on what I thought of the book overall. I loved some of it, but at the same time I found it rather annoying and frustrating. The story follows a group of writers that get together to share their thoughts and their stories with each other. The story follows their lives as their lives quickly become intertwined on a variety of levels - from romance, to hate, to respect, to lasting friendship.

The book is rather confusing at first. It was very difficult to follow the changing narrators at first, but as the story continues and you begin to know the characters, it becomes a wonderful way to tell the story. I think the part that threw me off the most was when people from outside the writing circle became narrators and also became very central to the story. There was almost too much going on to know where you were supposed to be.

After thinking on the book for a few days, I literally could not get it off my mind, I decided that I enjoyed the book enough to be glad that I read it, but not enough to try and read another like it.