Tuesday, November 17, 2009

TBR Challenge: REVIEW: A Gentle Rain by Deborah Smith

COPYRIGHT: 2007
PAGES: 360
SETTING/TYPE: Contemporary Romance
SENSUALITY: Subtle
REASON FOR READING: I got lucky and won this book from LibraryThing's Early Reviewer program. Since I'm a huge fan of DS, I was thrilled.

SUMMARY: from Deborah Smith's webite
A Connecticut heiress. A Florida cowboy.

Her secret. His heart.

And the very special family she's come home to find.
THOUGHTS/OPINIONS:

A Gentle Rain is another heartwarming engaging story that I have come to expect from Deborah Smith.

Kara Whittenbrook is the daughter of two wealthy award-winning environmentalist parents who have recently died when their plane crashes in the Amazon jungle leaving her an heiress. While sorting through her parent's papers she is shocked to discover her adoption papers. So she confronts her uncle to find out how and why her parents adopted a child. He explains that her adopted parents wanted to tell her but they died before they felt she was secure in herself enough to handle the news. He also told her that her biological parents are mentally disabled and live on a ranch in Northern Florida.

Kara decides she wants to meet them but she is unsure of her welcome so she sets out for Florida as "Karen Johnson", an artist and harp player. The ranch is run by Ben Thocco and her biological parents, Mac and Lily, work for him. Mac was born with fetal alcohol syndrome and Lily was severely shaken as a baby. They have never mentioned having a child and Ben does not know about Kara. Ben's brother, Joey, has Downs Syndrome and a very bad heart and his prognosis is not good. Ben is a wonderfully kind man who has a lot on his shoulders . He is struggling to hold onto the ranch, take care of Joey, and employ other mentally handicapped adults besides Mac and Lily as ranch hands.

Circumstances bring Kara into life on the ranch and Mac and Lily are very drawn to her. She quickly finds herself a part of life on the ranch, cooking and cleaning and getting to know her birth parents . She and Ben are very attracted to each other but Ben feels there is more to Kara than she is revealing. Kara is unsure whether she should reveal herself to her parents but she eventually falls in love with them ... and Ben too. She can't resist secretly fixing some of the financial problems Ben faces with her vast fortune.

This heartwarming story is filled with gentle humor and sweet, endearing characters. The writing alternates between Kara's and Ben's point of view and works wonderfully well. The love between Ben and Kara develops slowly and you will fall in love with them and the special characters just as I did. Deborah Smith is an amazing author and it's too bad more people don't know about her. This is a very special book and I highly recommend.

GRADE: B+

Thursday, November 12, 2009

New template (again)

Okay, here we go again. I couldn't fix the old template (which I loved) after checking with the site where I got it. Seems like there were lots of other people having the same problem (background image link broken).

So I spent an hour (it gets faster the more often I do this) and voila... here it is. Well, it's still fall, isnt' it? I found a winter template with snow but that was pushing it and it was depressing me. I hate winter and I'm not that fond of snow. In a month I'll probably change over to a Christmas theme (maybe). Sorry for the continually updating template. It gets confusing to all you bloggers to see something different everytime you visit. I will be tweaking it some since I think some of my blogger links may be broken and maybe add some new ones.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Blog messed up

Something seems to have gone wrong with my blog background. If I can't fix it I'll have to go find me a new template. *sigh* Dang it!

I hate when that happens. Well, I better go over to the source and see if I can fix it. Or else I'll have to find a new template.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Just finished reading...

I'm caught up with homework for now so I thought I would pop in and post about a book I just finished and loved. If you like contemporary romances with snappy dialogue, three dimensional characters, and steamy love scenes, this is the book for you.

TITLE: Can't Stand the Heat
AUTHOR: Louisa Edwards
SENSUALITY: Hot
THOUGHTS/OPINIONS:
If you have never heard of Louisa Edwards before that's because Can't Stand the Heat is her debut book. And what a debut! I was quite impressed. I love stories where some conflict pits the hero and heroine against each other. I recently read and loved Julie James' Practice Makes Perfect which features this type of story. So when I heard the buzz about this book I had to give it a try since it also features a restaurant critic and a chef. Miranda Wake is a sharp-tongued restaurant critic who would love to write a book about restaurant culture but can't find an interested publisher. Adam Temple is a chef working hard to open his new restaurant - Market - which specializes in organic dishes with the freshest ingredients straight from local growers.

At Market's opening party Miranda gets a bit tipsy and shoots off her mouth. Adam loses his temper and issues a dare, kinda like "Oh yeah, you think this is easy - you wouldn't last a month in my kitchen." Adam's publicist thinks this is a great idea and will make lots of publicity for the restaurant and bring in the customers. Only problem is Miranda can't cook but she sells the idea to a publisher and receives a book advance. This is when the fun begins. The dialogue is crisp and snappy with lots of realistic restaurant jargon, the food descriptions are mouth watering and the pacing is fast and furious. The book is filled with wonderfully realistic characters and features a secondary M/M romance that was well done. I loved Adam much more than Miranda whose motivations sometimes puzzled me even though the story alternates between Adam and Miranda's point of view. The real strength of this book is the how the relationship grows. The sensuality between Adam and Miranda was hot and spicy and blended together with the cooking and food preparation making some very yummy scenes.

This is the first book in Edwards' "Recipe for Love" series and I can't wait to get my hands on the next book.

GRADE: B+