Friday, September 30, 2005

Vacation Book Report - part two

Marrying McCabe by Fiona Brand
I was very disappointed with this book. I have read one other by Brand (Blade's Lady) and really enjoyed it. Roma is a runway model and someone is trying to kill her. Ben is a former special forces agent who has his own private security business. Roma's brother (Ben's best friend) hires Ben to provide around the clock protection for her until they can find out who is trying to kill her. ::yawn:: Yeah, so what. This was so dull I had a hard time staying awake. Plus there was no spark between H/H and I never cared about either one. My Grade: C-

The Trouble With Joe by Emilie Richards
The cover I show here is for the re-issue published by Mira. I read the original Sihouette (SSE 873) release I came across at the Goodwill store, but I couldn't find a picture of that cover. I'm so glad it was republished because it will give readers a chance to read this wonderful tearjerker about male infertility.

The story begins with Joe and Samantha Giovanelli already married. Joe is a high school principal and Sam is a first grade teacher and they both love children. They have been married for several years and they love each other deeply, but something is wrong. They want children but Sam cannot get pregnant. After much frustration, Sam goes in for tests, but there is nothing wrong with her. Then Joe reluctantly goes in for tests and finds that he has a low sperm count and there is nothing anyone can do. Joe is devastated. He comes from a large Italian family where his brothers and sisters all have children. He becomes withdrawn and refuses to consider adoption. He won't talk to Sam and their relationship suffers. Into this situation comes Corey Haskins, a little girl who had been in Sam's first grade class. Corey's abusive and neglectful mother has been killed in a car accident and Sam takes her in because she has no place else to stay. Joe is not happy about it. Corey is no cute little angel, but a very complex, troubled child. Joe must deal with his own self image and what makes a real man. Sam is a wonderful character as well, never blaming Joe, and always saying "we are infertile" when referring to their problem. She is so strong and fights for their marriage.

This book deals with the question of what truly makes a family. The growth of the characters is very real with no melodrama or sickly sweet sappiness. I cried through the whole book but I'm so glad I did :) My Grade: A-

Crazy For You by Jennifer Crusie
This book was a light (with a tinge of darkness), funny, sexy read and I really enjoyed it. It all starts with a dog! Quinn falls in love with a mongrel dog she names Katie. This small dog ends up being the catalyst that changes Quinn's life and the people around her. Her boyfriend, "perfect" Bill, hates the dog and takes Katie to the pound behind Quinn's back. This event spurs Quinn to break up with Bill, move out and buy her own house. Bill, who seemed so perfectly nice, takes a downward spiral. But it's believable. Bill is a control freak who acts normal as long as he gets his own way, but when he is thwarted, he displays progressively worse, obsessive and possesive stalker behavior. Quinn's love interest is Nick, her ex-brother-in-law and best friend, who is commitment-phobic. They are very attracted to each other and the sexual tension is high. Crusie's specialty of crisp, snappy dialogue and quirky characters in a small town atmosphere are all present here. My Grade: B+

Cool Shade by Teresa Weir
This book deals with the story of two dysfunctional people. Maddie is flat broke and a radio DJ. She can't hold down a steady job because she seems to purposely self-destruct. Eddie was a former manager of a rock star that was killed by a crazed fan and he can't get over it. He is agoraphobic and has panic attacks. He lives in a run down shack of a house with a yard overgrown with weeds in a backwater small town in Nebraska. Eddie is a recluse, a drunk, and the only people he has contact with are a brain-damaged young man and prostitutes. When Maddie meets Eddie, she pretends she's a prostitute and surrenders her virginity to him. Wow, how do you make a h/h and HEA out of this mess? Obviously, this is not your typical romance but it is a testament to Weir's writing skill that she can make this work so well. And it's very short, only about 250 pages. This was a moving book with very well drawn, complex characters and I loved it. My Grade: A-


Avid Reader said...

Theresa Weir is so under the radar, she is an excellent writer. Her romances were good but not great to me. Cool Shade's ending threw me for a loop and made me depressed :-) However, since she's started writing suspense under Anne Frasier, I've enjoyed her novels very much under that name. Whatta shame that she feels that she cannot succeed as a romance writer. Laura Leone has said the same thing too.

ReneeW said...

I'm so clueless sometimes :) I didn't realize that Weir is writing under Anne Frasier. I have only read one other by Weir, Amazon Lily, and I liked it. I'm so depressed that so many of my favorite authors have switched genres. Besides Leone (I loved Fallen from Grace), Candice Proctor is no longer writing romance. I'm sure there are some others I can't remember right this second.

Avid Reader said...

I just checked Emilie Richard's website and she's now writing mystery. Mystery seems the way to go for most romance authors (and I fear most won't be that great at it) but I really like Richards's stuff especially Beautiful Lies.

Avid Reader said...

Oh and I'm trying to find The Trouble with Joe, thanks for the heads up on it. I also bought Iron & Lace. I really haven't had a big problem with her backlist.

Anonymous said...

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Wow, I haven't touched my blog in over 6 years and I'm still logged in!  Good thing because I have no idea what my password is.  In ...