Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Nights of Rain and Stars

Nights Of Rain And Stars (Signet Novel) Nights Of Rain And Stars by Maeve Binchy


My review
rating: 3 of 5 stars
Interesting read. Wonderful insights on human relationships without being too deep.

Pub. Date: June 2005

Synopsis: Four strangers, with nothing in common but a need to escape, meet in a Greek taverna high above the small village of Aghia Anna. From Ireland, America, Germany and England, they have each left their homes and their old lives, when a shocking tragedy throws them unexpectedly together.

Fiona is a young nurse, trying to make her family understand her need to follow her own path. Thomas desperately misses his young son and fears that his ex-wife will come between them. Elsa abruptly left her career as a television presenter, but someone from her past refuses to let her go. And shy, quiet David is determined to make a stand against his overbearing father. With these four is Andreas, the taverna owner, who badly misses the son who left home nine years ago and has never returned.

Nights of Rain and Stars is the story of one summer and four people, each with a life in turmoil. With the help of Vonnie, a middle-aged Irishwoman who lives in the village and is now a near-native, they find solutions -- though not necessarily the ones they anticipated.

Received: March 2006
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Saturday, February 21, 2009

Simply Magic

Simply Magic (Simply Series #3) Simply Magic by Mary Balogh

My review
rating: 3 of 5 stars
Mary Balogh amazes me. Her stories are simple love stories written around great characters, written in a way that sucks me in and before I know it, I'm reading the last sentence.

While this story was no exception, I found the ending too wrapped up, too hurried, too... neat. Maybe just a little too happily-ever-after.

I look forward to the last book in this series.

Pub. Date: March 2007

Series: Simply Book #3

Synopsis: On a splendid August afternoon Susanna Osbourne is introduced to the most handsome man she has ever seen . . . and instantly feels the icy chill of recognition. Peter Edgeworth, Viscount Whitleaf, is utterly charming—and seemingly unaware that they have met before. With his knowing smile and seductive gaze, Peter acts the rake; but he stirs something in Susanna she has never felt before, a yearning that both frightens and dazzles her. Instantly she knows: this brash nobleman poses a threat to her heart . . . and to the secrets she guards so desperately.

From the moment they meet, Peter is drawn to Susanna’s independence, dazzled by her sharp wit—he simply must have her. But the more he pursues, the more Susanna withdraws . . . until a sensual game of thrust-and-parry culminates in a glorious afternoon of passion. Now more determined than ever to keep her by his side, Peter begins to suspect that a tragic history still haunts Susanna. And as he moves closer to the truth, Peter is certain of one thing: he will defy the mysteries of her past for a future with this exquisite creature—all Susanna must do is trust him with the most precious secret of all.

Recommended Reading:
Simply Perfect by Mary Balogh
Simply Love by Mary Balogh

Received: February 2008
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Saturday, February 14, 2009

Simply Love

Simply Love (Simply Series #2) Simply Love by Mary Balogh

My review
rating: 3 of 5 stars
Very good characters. Plot was well-done without being over done. Many of the characters were from her other book series, and it was confusing for me to remember who everyone was (I haven't read the Bedwyn series).

Pub. Date: February 2007
Series: Simply Book #2

Synopsis: New York Times bestselling author Mary Balogh returns to the elegance and sensuality of Regency England as she continues the enthralling story of four remarkable women–friends and teachers at Miss Martin’s School for Girls. At the center of this spellbinding novel is Anne Jewell, a teacher haunted by a scandalous past…until she meets a man who teaches her the most important lesson of all: nothing is simple when it comes to love.…

She spies him in the deepening dusk of a Wales evening–a lone figure of breathtaking strength and masculinity, his handsome face branded by a secret pain. For single mother and teacher Anne Jewell, newly arrived with her son at a sprawling estate in Wales on the invitation of an influential friend, Sydnam Butler is a man whose sorrows–and passions–run deeper than she could have ever imagined.

As steward of a remote seaside manor, Sydnam lives a reclusive existence far from the pity and disdain of others. Yet almost from the moment Anne first appears on the cliffs, he senses in this lovely stranger a kindred soul, and between these two wary hearts, desire stirs. Unable to resist the passion that has rescued them both from loneliness, Anne and Sydnam share an afternoon of exquisite lovemaking. Now the unwed single mother and war-scarred veteran must make a decision that could forever alter their lives. For Sydnam, it is a chance to heal the pain of the past. For Anne, it is the glorious promise of a future with the man who will dare her to reveal her deepest secrets…before she can give him all her heart.

Recommended Reading:
Simply Magic by Mary Balogh
Simply Unforgettable by Mary Balogh
Simply Perfect by Mary Balogh

Received: March 2008


PaperBackSwap.com - Our online book club offers free books when you swap, trade, or exchange your used books with other book club members for free.

Pretty Bad

Pretty Bad (Zebra Contemporary Romance) Pretty Bad by Shirley Jump


My review
rating: 2 of 5 stars
Strong characters but generic. Wasn't much of a plot.

Pub. Date: February 2007

Synopsis: Finding The Beefcake In Cheesecake...
Madison Worth may be your average over-the-hill, overpaid top model, but she is not a diva. The cake throwing incident at the New York Fall Fashion Show? Completely justified. It wasn’t her fault Kate Moss’s face got in the way. But the fallout has her deep in social Siberia -- literally -- on a dairy farm in podunk, Massachusetts. Why? To get a job of course! As spokesmodel for the Cheese Pleese Company. (Talk about eating humble pie.) And her new boss, Jack Pleeseman, leaves a lot -- six-foot two inches worth -- to be desired...

Rugged and tanned in a deliciously hard-earned way, not to mention runway gorgeous, Jack Pleeseman wants to overhaul his 160-year-old family business. After some lengthy research in the pages of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, he’s found the ideal candidate for a spokesmodel. But after running his eyes up her 20-story legs, what he finds is a beautiful, tall, spoiled rich girl in a need of a major attitude adjustment. A farm could be just the charm school to set her straight. Trouble is, the cocks are crowing, the cows are moo-ing, and sexy Jack can’t help from wooing...

Recommended Reading:
The Devil Served Tortellini by Shirley Jump
The Angel Craved Lobster by Shirley Jump
The Bachelor Preferred Pastry by Shirley Jump

Received: February 2008

PaperBackSwap.com - Our online book club offers free books when you swap, trade, or exchange your used books with other book club members for free.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Goodnight Nobody

Goodnight Nobody Goodnight Nobody by Jennifer Weiner


My review
rating: 4 of 5 stars
I loved the way the author wove the back story in with the current events. Great characters, great story. Definitely hard to put down.

Pub. Date: May 2006
Synopsis: For Kate Klein, a semi-accidental mother of three, suburbia's been full of unpleasant surprises. Her once-loving husband is hardly ever home. The supermommies on the playground routinely snub her. Her days are spent carpooling and enduring endless games of Candy Land, and at night, most of her orgasms are of the do-it-yourself variety.

When a fellow mother is murdered, Kate finds that the unsolved mystery is one of the most interesting things to happen in Upchurch since her neighbors broke ground for a guesthouse and cracked their septic tank. Even though Kate's husband and the police chief warn her that crime-fighting's a job best left to professionals, she can't let it go.
So Kate launches an unofficial investigation -- from 8:45 to 11:30 on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, when her kids are in nursery school -- with the help of her hilarious best friend, carpet heiress Janie Segal, and Evan McKenna, a former flame she thought she'd left behind in New York City.

As the search for the killer progresses, Kate is drawn deeper into the murdered woman's double life. She discovers the secrets and lies behind Upchurch's placid picket-fence facade -- and the choices and compromises all modern women make as they navigate between independence and obligation, small towns and big cities, being a mother and having a life of one's own.
Engrossing, suspenseful, and laugh-out-loud funny, Goodnight Nobody is another unputdownable, timely tale; an insightful mystery with a great heart and a narrator you'll never forget.

Recommended Reading:
Little Earthquakes by Jennifer Weiner
Good in Bed by Jennifer Weiner
The Guy Not Taken by Jennifer Weiner
Manny by Holly Peterson


Received: February 2007


PaperBackSwap.com - Our online book club offers free books when you swap, trade, or exchange your used books with other book club members for free.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The J.A.P. Chronicles

The J.A.P. Chronicles: A Novel The J.A.P. Chronicles: A Novel by Isabel Rose

My review:rating: 4 of 5 stars
The author's biography reads like an overachiever - for a reason. She's good at what she does. This book was exceptionally written with characters that stayed true to form. Each character's voice was clearly portrayed throughout the book as each character struggled with crisis - finding the an available salon, drug addiction, homelessness, molestation, ending an engagement and dying from cancer.

A very moving story told with humor and horror.

Pub. Date: May 2006

Synopsis: When seven former bunkmates at Willow Lake Camp reunite for the camp’s 100th anniversary, the event brings more than just a revival of the old camp spirit. Ali Cohen, an Oscar-nominated filmmaker and former camp outcast, plans to make a documentary about her former bunkmates. The ugly duckling turned successful self-made swan secretly hopes that her teenage tormentors will have grown into adult losers.

As each woman steps into focus, however, it becomes clear that it is not as simple as that. Sure, Arden can’t keep a job (even as a nanny!), Jessica is stuck in regional theater, and Dafna has lost both her job and her $40,000 per month stipend from her father. But Laura is apparently flourishing as a Los Angeles superagent, and Beth has found happiness by throwing over her successful but dull fiancĂ© for her wedding photographer. Even Wendy, golden girl turned frumpy housewife, has managed to skirt old regrets and long-stifled urges—until seeing her old acquaintances stirs them up again.

Recommended Reading:
Personal Days
by Ed Park
The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski
The Host by Stephenie Meyer

Received: February 2007
PaperBackSwap.com - Our online book club offers free books when you swap, trade, or exchange your used books with other book club members for free.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Quakertown

Title: Quakertown
Author: Lee Martin
Pub. Date: June 2001

Synopsis: In Quakertown, Lee Martin's eagerly awaited first novel, Martin travels back to 1920s Texas to tell the story of a flourishing black community that was segregated from its white brethren-and of the remarkable gardener who was asked to do the unimaginable.

Based on the true story of a shameful episode in North Texas history, Quakertown draws on the rich texture of the South - of the Pecan Creek running along the edges of Quakertown, the remarkable and rare white lilac, and of the rising tensions marking each nod and greeting. With strength and a deep wisdom of heart Martin carves out the delicate story of two families-one white and one black-and the child whose birth brought a gift of forgiveness.

Recommended Reading:
Baker Towers by Jennifer Haigh
The Bright Forever by Lee Martin

Received: February 2007
PaperBackSwap.com - Our online book club offers free books when you swap, trade, or exchange your used books with other book club members for free.