Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Eternal on the Water

This book started off with the ending and captured my interest immediately. Although we know what is going to happen, there is still a little mystery. Namely, the why, how and when. The story centers on the relationship between Mary and Cobb. Specifically, love at first sight. We witness these characters living life to its’ fullest in the face of inevitable tragedy. The story has an upbeat tempo … only a minor briefing of Mary’s illness, Huntington’s disease, is presented and we see only a few instances where the symptoms of the disease directly interfere with the lives of Mary and Cobb. I would have liked the characters of Mary and Cobb to have a little more realism associated with them. At times, they seemed too good to be true. Yes, there are truly selfless people in the world but here it seemed like it was everyone.

The story flowed easily and was a joy to read. The characters and the locations were beautifully described. Each character brought a little something to the stage … very interesting. I found it easy to remember them all. What will you come away with after reading this novel? A feeling of sadness, a zest for life, a desire to help others, a …. You will need to read the novel to find out.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Read-it-First: The Pursuit of Other Interests

Last week, St. Martin's Read-it-First program allowed us to preview The Pursuit of Other Interests, by Jim Kokoris. The book jacket describes this book as a reluctant journey of self-discovery by the main character, Charlie Baker, a neurotic workaholic who loses his job.

The preview starts off with a description of Charlie's morning activities. I did not find this interesting – in fact, it left a highly negative impression of Charlie that I could not shake throughout the seventeen pages of the preview. I found the writing to be a bit bland – there were moments where Charlie's stress and anxiety were depicted; however, they did not evoke a response from me. Could this lack of response be blamed on my initial impression of Charlie? Yes, but I have enjoyed other books where I did not like the main character.

The road to self-discovery had yet to be traveled in the preview. The journey may make the book more enjoyable and be worth taking; however, I will not be taking it with Charlie.

Looking forward to the upcoming preview!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Read-it-First: Christmas Miracles

Last week, St. Martin's Read-it-First program allowed us to preview Christmas Miracles, by Cecil Murphey and Marley Gibson. A collection of real-life Christmas miracle stories.

The preview starts with a forward by Don Piper. It may be just me but, I don't believe that this introduction was necessary. I would have preferred several more pages from the book as this forward took up one full installment.

This book is filled with stories about people of faith. If you are not a fan of Christian literature, you will probably not enjoy this book; however, for those of you who enjoy hearing anecdotal stories where people truly believe that some type of miracle has occurred then this is a book for you.

Looking forward to the upcoming preview!

Read-it-First: Breaking the Rules

Two weeks ago, St. Martin's Read-it-First program allowed us to preview Breaking the Rules, by Barbara Taylor Bradford. A story about a psychopath determined to destroy the life of a top supermodel.

This is not the usual type of book that I read. That being said, the preview moved along quite well. The prologue will certainly grab one's attention – a botched murder attempt. The first chapter changes direction and the reader is introduced to M, a New York fashion model, and her friend Dax. A comfortable relationship exists between the two and we witness a quiet friendly evening together. There is some obvious inner turmoil that M is suppressing. Suspicions are that this anxiety relates back to the prologue.

The writing was fine and M is a mystery to be solved. I do believe that I will give this book a second look. I will pick it up in the store and make a final decision to read or not to read.

Looking forward to the upcoming preview!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Read-it-First: Gorgeous East

St. Martin's Read-it-First program allowed recently us to preview Gorgeous East, by Robert Girardi. A novel about the French Foreign Legion. At first I thought this was going to be an interesting read. An older gentleman, a legionnaire, notices a young woman and instantly deduces that she is suicidal. His deduction is correct and he goes to incredible lengths to save her; however, the aftermath of this event is a bit too unrealistic for me – girl sleeps with man. There is not much more to the preview than this.

I didn't find the characters to be interesting or likable. I felt as though things were being rushed and forced. On a positive note, the descriptions were beautifully written and I did enjoy the sprinkling of phrases written in other languages. Unfortunately, this is not a book that I will be picking up.

Looking forward to the next preview!

Read-it-First: The Christmas Secret

Several weeks ago, St. Martin's Read-it-First program allowed us to preview The Christmas Secret, by Donna VanLiere. A novel where not only the characters but also the reader will experience the true meaning of love, hope, family and sacrifice. In this installment, we are first introduced to Angela Christine as a child. This is done via a flashback to a Christmas from her past, an intriguing introduction. It brought back a lot of childhood memories, although mostly sad ones. The preview also gives us a peak into the adult life of Angela Christine. Presently, it is not a happy one. She is the mother of two children, has a deadbeat ex-husband and is on the verge of losing another job. We are also introduced to Jason, an out of work accountant with a chip on his shoulders – he thinks that he is above working in the family business, a department store. Will the paths of these two individuals cross? I'd say yes, if you want to believe the writeup on the book jacket.

The writing was fine and the characters likable. This is a book that I would like to know more about.

Looking forward to the next preview!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Read-it-Frist: There Goes the Bride

Last week, St. Martin's Read-it-First program allowed us to preview There Goes the Bride, the twentieth installment in the Agatha Raisin series, by M.C. Beaton. Agatha has gone from being an amateur to a professional detective in this series. In this installment, Agatha is dreading the upcoming marriage of her ex-husband, James Lacey. Try as she might to move on, she can't seem to stay out of her ex-husband's life. When James' fiance is murdered moments before the wedding, Agatha becomes the prime suspect. Will she be cleared? I have no doubt.

The preview had some incidents that I found amusing and some that I found painful (for the lovelorn Agatha). The writing was fine. The pages provided for this cozy mystery brought us to the day before the wedding. No mysteries or puzzles could be found. I love a good mystery; however, I don't believe that I will be reading anymore of this story. Unfortunately, the book, characters and I just did not click. I didn't like Agatha.

Looking forward to this week's preview!