Tag Archives: book review

Winter Reading Challenge

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Here’s one that’s perfect for me because there is no set amount of books – you set your own limit.  Here are the details:

The Winter Reading Challenge runs from December 21st, 2008 through March 20, 2009. There are 13 weeks in Winter and I will probably end up reading one to two books per week. Some of the books may cross over into challenges that begin 2009.

This is going to be a very casual challenge much like the Fall Reading Challenge, so please join me.

The rules are very flexible:

1) Choose any number of books you would like to read and post them on your blog.

2) They can be fiction and/or nonfiction including e-books and audiobooks

3) They can overlap with other challenges.

4) Sign up on Mr. Linky. I’m still trying to figure out Mr. Linky so will let you guys post your links yourselves when you have your lists ready.

5) In a few days, I set up a link where you can post links to your book reviews

To sign up, click here.

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We Take This Man by Candice Dow and Daaimah S. Poole

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Dwight and Tracey Wilson are living the ideal life with their two children in a brand new home in Florida. They are both excited when Dwight is offered a promotion at work, but the downside is that the job is located in Maryland. After much discussion, Tracey decides that she does not want to leave their new house. Dwight makes the decision to accept the position and return home on weekends.

Alicia Dixon has spent her life hating and not trusting men after her father mistreated her mother, but she can’t help but fall for the new guy in her company…Dwight. They both try to fight their attraction to one another, but it proves to be a losing battle-Alicia is everything that his southern wife is not.

When Alicia ends up pregnant, Dwight decides to end things with Tracey, but the process proves not to be as easy as Dwight had hoped.

Tracey Wilson has everything a woman could want in a husband.  He is a good father to his children, a loving husband to her, and he is educated and earns a good living…good enough for Tracey to have a brand new home in Florida, and not have to worry too much about her spending habits. 

But, all that changes when  Dwight gets offered a promotion at work – it is a $40,000 a year increase in pay but there is a catch – he will be relocated to Maryland.  After a lot of discussion, Tracey decides that she is going to stay behind in Florida and Dwight will fly back on the weekends.  I for one never understand how people think this will work, especially when there are children involved.  But so goes the story.

 Dwight is totally devoted to making this new job work out, and ends up missing weekends with his family.  He is so busy that he forgets to call, and even when he is “home” his mind is still on work.  And on Alicia.   

Alicia Dixon works at the company that Dwight gets transferred to, and there is an immediate attraction.  But, Alicia is upset because she feels that she was slighted for the position that is now Dwight’s.  As they continue to spend more time together, they find out that they have much in common and Dwight sees that this is what he has been looking for – someone to completely support him and not decide to stay behind in a different state.   Alicia knows that Dwight is married, but feels as if he is fair game – what kind of wife would let their man move to another state and only see them on weekends?

Dwight decides to file for divorce – he has everything he needs in Alicia and realizes he has been unhappy with Tracey since her refusal to move.  But things aren’t going to be as easy as he thinks.

I have never read anything by Candice Dow or Daaimah, and although the content of the book was troubling to me (with the affairs and the way they decided to work things out in the end) I must say that the writing was excellent.  I am unsure if I would recommend this book or not.  I for one think that most women are stronger than they are portrayed in this book, but again let me stress the word most.  

Thanks once again to Miriam Parker and the Hachette Book Group for sending me this copy for review!

 

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Love and Other Natural Disasters by Holly Shumas

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Eve is eight months pregnant and in the middle of a Thanksgiving celebration when she discovers that her husband Jonathan has developed an intimate relationship with a woman over the past year.  Jonathon asserts his innocence (an affair involves physical intimacy, and he didn’t have any), while Eve feels deeply betrayed by the emotional connection he shared with someone else. What Jon has done seems so terrifyingly out of character that Eve finds herself questioning her entire reality.  Did she ever really know Jon at all?  Was their happiness together a lie?  Is emotional intimacy more forgivable than sexual intimacy?  And can their marriage survive?

Eve and Jon seem to have it all, a wonderful son, Jacob with a baby due in a few months time.  But, when Eve overhears Jon on the phone during Thanksgiving dinner her whole world crumbles.  Laney happened.  Eve makes everyone leave and confronts Jon, who admits to having an “emotional” relationship with Laney over the past year.  He doesn’t see this as cheating because it never once got physical, although he “has love” for her.

This book was very thought provoking.  My husband and I discussed it, and I was with Eve’s friend Lil.  I thought that an emotional relationship was worse than a physical one, and it would be harder for me to forgive.  I was happy with the ending and how the author brought you to it.  She also left the possibility of a sequel – I for one would love to know more about what happens with Uncle Charlie.

This is the first book that I have read by this author, but I really enjoyed it.  Once again I want to thank Miriam Parker of The Hachette Book Group for sending this to me for review.

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The Little Giant of Aberdeen County by Tiffany Baker

When Truly Plaice’s mother was pregnant, the town of Aberdeen joined together in betting how recordbreakingly huge the baby boy would ultimately be. The girl who proved to be Truly paid the price of her enormity; her father blamed her for her mother’s death in childbirth, and was totally ill equipped to raise either this giant child or her polar opposite sister Serena Jane, the epitome of femine perfection. When he, too, relinquished his increasingly tenuous grip on life, Truly and Serena Jane are separated–Serena Jane to live a life of privilege as the future May Queen and Truly to live on the outskirts of town on the farm of the town sadsack, the subject of constant abuse and humiliation at the hands of her peers.

Serena Jane’s beauty proves to be her greatest blessing and her biggest curse, for it makes her the obsession of classmate Bob Bob Morgan, the youngest in a line of Robert Morgans who have been doctors in Aberdeen for generations. Though they have long been the pillars of the community, the earliest Robert Morgan married the town witch, Tabitha Dyerson, and the location of her fabled shadow book–containing mysterious secrets for healing and darker powers–has been the subject of town gossip ever since. Bob Bob Morgan, one of Truly’s biggest tormentors, does the unthinkable to claim the prize of Serena Jane, and changes the destiny of all Aberdeen from there on.

When Serena Jane flees town and a loveless marriage to Bob Bob, it is Truly who must become the woman of a house that she did not choose and mother to her eight-year-old nephew Bobbie. Truly’s brother-in-law is relentless and brutal; he criticizes her physique and the limitations of her health as a result, and degrades her more than any one human could bear. It is only when Truly finds her calling–the ability to heal illness with herbs and naturopathic techniques–hidden within the folds of Robert Morgan’s family quilt, that she begins to regain control over her life and herself. Unearthed family secrets, however, will lead to the kind of betrayal that eventually break the Morgan family apart forever, but Truly’s reckoning with her own demons allows for both an uprooting of Aberdeen County, and the possibility of love in unexpected places.

After reading the back of this book, I really wasn’t sure what to expect when reading it. This book centers around Truly Plaice. When Truly’s mother is pregnant, the whole town places bets as to how big the boy is going to be, and the guesses are high due to the enormous size of her belly. When Dr. Robert Morgan examines her, he notices a lump in her breast, a lump she keeps secret, even though it will kill her. When her water breaks and contractions start, Dr. Robert Morgan tries to help her through the delivery to the best of his ability, but the size of the baby proves to be too much. When he asks her what name she has chosen the last word she utters is Truly. Thus is the beginning of Truly’s existence.

Truly is destined to be miserable. Her sister Serena Jane is beautiful by anyone’s standards, and not only is Truly homely, she is enormous besides. Her father blames her and the doctor for the untimely death of his wife (even though she would have passed from cancer shortly after her birth) and refuses to seek medical attention for his daughter, even though it is obvious there is something wrong with her.

After the death of their father, the girls are separated. Serena Jane, who is treated as a princess by most of the town, but especially by Amanda Pickerston, is welcomed with open arms into their home. But there is no way they are going to take in something as homely and huge as Truly. Instead, truly is sent to the Dyerson farm, a home of outcasts where she is bound to fit in.

The girls continue to meet weekly, but grow apart even more…not that they were ever really close. They both fall into a pattern with their new families. And Truly continues to grow.

She does have a friend in Amelia, the daughter of the Dyerson’s, who becomes like a sister to her. She also catches the eye of Marcus, even if he is the smallest boy in the class, he is full of knowledge and love for Truly, something that get exploited by Bob Bob Morgan, the son of Doctor Morgan, and a boy destined to be the next town Doctor, a tradition that goes all the way back to his great-great-great-grandfather, and his wife Tabitha, who it was rumored was a witch. Bob Bob also has his eyes on Serena, and one night he finally gets her where he wants her, a union that prompts a swift marriage due to her unexpected pregnancy.

Serena and Bob Bob move away and Truly doesn’t hear from them for quite some time, with only the occasional letter and picture of her nephew Bobbie. So, when they move back to town she is hopeful that things will change. They don’t. That is until Bob Bob (who is now called Robert) comes to tell her that her sister has left and wants her to help him raise Bobbie.

This is the beginning of a fascinating relationship, and a story full of love and incredible deceit. I found the story to be excellent, and truly loved the way the author described the characters. I went through a full range of emotions while reading this, and although it had a happy ending, it was really bittersweet when you realize everything that led to it. Highly recommended!

Tiffany Baker lives in Tiburon, California with her husband and three children. This is her first novel.

Thanks so much to Miriam Parker, of The Hachette Book Group for sending me this ARC to review!

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Wicked Game by Lisa Jackson and Nancy Bush

About the book:

 ONE BY ONE, THEY’LL DIE…Twenty years ago, wild child Jessie Brentwood vanished from St. Elizabeth’s high school. Most in Jessie’s tight circle of friends believed she simply ran away. Few suspected that Jessie was hiding a shocking secret—one that brought her into the crosshairs of a vicious killer…

UNTIL THERE’S NO ONE LEFT…Two decades pass before a body is unearthed on school grounds and Jessie’s old friends reunite to talk. Most are sure that the body is Jessie’s, that the mystery of what happened to her has finally been solved. But soon, Jessie’s friends each begin to die in horrible, freak accidents that defy explanation…

BUT HER…Becca Sutcliff has been haunted for years by unsettling visions of Jessie, certain her friend met with a grisly end. Now the latest deaths have her rattled. Becca can sense that an evil force is shadowing her too, waiting for just the right moment to strike. She feels like she’s going crazy. Is it all a coincidence—or has Jessie’s killer finally returned to finish what was started all those years ago?

My Review:

20 years have passed since the disappearance of Jezebel “Jessie” Brentwood, but the case is back in the news after bones are discovered at St. Elizabeth’s school. Detective Sam NcNally is hoping that he will finally get the break he deserves, and prove to all of the skeptics that she was murdered all those years ago.

Becca Sutcliff is shocked when she receives a phone call from her ex-boyfriend and true love Hudson Walker. The group of friends that hung out with each other at the time of Jessie’s disappearance is meeting to compare stories. The common belief is that the remains will be identified as Jessie, but they want to make sure that their stories haven’t changed. There seems to be a dark cloud hovering among the members of the group, and when tragedy starts to strike, Becca feels it’s only a matter of time before she’s next.

This paranormal romantic suspense thriller was well thought out and it was impossible for me to tell that it was written by two sisters. I have a feeling I know where the added romance came in, as this isn’t common in most of Lisa’s books. I felt it added nicely to the storyline, and made it appealing to a more diverse crowd.

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