Monday, February 25, 2008

Lightening Reviews

Quick question - do you review all the books you read? I know that many of you do or try to, but I never manage. Between reading, working, reading, sleeping, reading, blog-hopping, reading, surfing the net, reading and everything else, I don't have time to review all my reads. I'll usually review the ones that inspire me or what's hot on blogland :P and that's why I'm having lightening reviews today.

Bedded for Diamonds by Kelly Hunter
published by Harlequin Presents in February 2008

The Plot: Tristan Bennett is a burn-out Interpol cop who returns to his home country, Australia. He meets curious and talkative taxi driver, Erin Sinclair, who's actually a jewel designer. Erin needs to buy stones for the designs she planned to enter in a competition and has prepared a trip with her brother... In the end, her brother can't and none of her friends or relatives either. Without a choice, she turns to Tristan who has offered his help.

Genre: contemporary romance

Why? I picked this book up because I read the first book by this author, Wife for a Week, but didn't realize that she had a second out until Rosie blogged about it.

My Opinion: I really enjoyed this one, even more than Wife for a Week. I thought that the storyline was a bit more believable. The story was interesting, the chemistry between Tristan and Erin, sizzling and I enjoyed the characters. I like Erin's type :P If you want to read a good Harlequin Presents, this is one :)

My Grade: B+

Once in Every Life by Kristin Hannah
published by Ballantine Books in 1992

The Plot: Tess Gregory has overcome the odds. Although raised in forster homes where she never felt like she fit and becoming deaf after having meningitis, Tess has a great career as a cancer research scientist. Unfortunately, Tess' life comes to an end in an accident; however, she is given a second chance and begins a new life in post-Civil War America as Amarylis Rafferty, wife and mother of three. Only problem, her children are afraid of her and Jack, her husband, doesn't seem to love her very much.

Genre: Historical romance, time travel

Why? This book was the reason why I went back to the library. Dev has read When There is Hope by Jane Goodger recently and liked it. In the comment section, Kristie recommended Once in Every Life. I couldn't find When There is Hope, so I picked up Once in Every Life instead.

My Opinion: This was an okay book. I thought the storyline was okay, but the romance aspect, a bit bland. Tess arrives in post-Civil War America unprepared, but she seemed to adapt way too quickly. Not just to the time period, but also to her surroundings and new family. So the transition wasn't too believeable. Also, I didn't see why she would be in love with Jack. Of course, that's necessary in order for this book to be romance, but Jack... I guess Jack was a beta hero. He has come back from the Civil War changed and because of some events happening, he was disinherited by his father and his wife, Amaralys' behavior towards him completely changed. He wasn't really an hero I would root for... Also, I thought it'd be harder for Tess to draw out the family, to make people like her, but it didn't happen. The only person that was resistant to her was Jack, with good reasons... but otherwise, everything went too smoothly. To be honest, I'd have preferred if it was only Tess and Jack, without the children.

My Grade: C

All or Nothing by Claire Cross
published by Berkley Trade in March 2007

The Plot: Zach Coxwell is the black sheep of his family and has made many mistakes in the past. After the suicide of his father, it's time for Zach to grow up and assume some of his responsibilities and prove himself to his family... Jen Maitland is a waitress at a pub whose life has stopped 2 years ago when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Although she is now in remission, she doesn't enjoy and see life as she used to. For Thanksgivings, her mother and grandmother insist that she brings someone to dinner or else, they'll start matchmaking her. Wanting to be left alone, Jen and her sister come up with a plan - Jen has to bring someone that her family will hate, who will be totally incompatible with her... someone like Zach.

Genre: contemporary romance
Series: Coxwell siblings, book #4

Why? I read the 2nd book in this series and really enjoyed it. I had this in my TBR pile, but I didn't feel like reading it till I saw that it was one of Jill's best read in 2007.

My Opinion: I enjoyed the book, but not as much as Jill. I like how these two who are so different on the surface come together and fall in love... I had a few laughs as well, especially from Jen's family. They are quite special. I liked finding out what happened to the other Coxwells and also, to see Zach grows and his family's reluctance to believe in him. What annoyed me though was Jen's attitude because she didn't want to fall in love with Zach. I understand her situation... she doesn't know how long she's going to live, she's afraid of relationship, especially after her ex-boyfriend dumped her. The thing however is that you started it all Jen. You invited Zach into your life and "used" him for your plan. It didn't work out as you expected, but you can't just tell him to get out of your life when you want. All do end well though... and perhaps, that's why I didn't enjoy this book as much. Also, I think that Zach's past should have been more elaborated... It would have been interesting to see why he made those choices in his youth.

My Grade: B

Freefall by JoAnn Ross
published by Signet in February 2008

The Plot: Sabrina Swann and Zacharah Tremayne both come back to Swann Island after events have changed their life; for Sabrina, it was a terrorist bombing, and Zach, a SEAL mission gone wrong. Both have come back to Swann Island to relax, recover and put their life back together... and they help each other on this journey. However, there is danger on the island... namely, a serial killer.
Genre: contemporary romance
Series: High Risk, book #1

Why? I usually enjoy JoAnn Ross.
My Opinion: This book didn't work for me... I can't really put my finger on why exactly, but there were a few things I dislike: I didn't feel the chemistry between Sabrina and Zach. Granted, they have a past - which consists of Sabrina throwing herself at Zach and him turning her down. In their situation, I don't know, I didn't feel like they were ready to get into a relationship. Sure, love heals... but I'm not even sure they really love each other. I mean, I'm not sure they knew each other well enough. The plot was okay, but could have been more focused on Zach and Sabrina. Instead, you had too much of the other characters - the villain, his victims and the secondary couples. Also, I didn't like the ending about the serial killer... the way his identity was revealed. I think it'd be better if his identity was revealed to the readers at the same time Sabrina discovered it. Anyway, I have the feelings the author didn't know what to develop - the romance or the serial killer storyline... and in the end, she missed the boat for both.

My Grade: C-