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Showing posts from November, 2013

Book to Film: Persuasion by Jane Austen

Persuasion is perhaps my favorite novel of Jane Austen. It seems to me we are but a handful on this bandwagon. As much as I adore her other books and its heroines and heroes, it is Anne and her captain who 'pierce my soul'.
Eight years has passed since Anne Elliot of Kellynch Hall last saw the naval officer Frederick Wentworth. Eight years ago since she was happily betrothed to him but was persuaded by her friend Lady Russell to break off the engagement for such match is declared unsuitable. Now Frederick returns, a wealthy captain in the navy, and most likely they are to cross paths again. Anne obviously still have feelings for him but will things ever return the way it was between them?
Anne Elliot won me over with her grace and subtle elegance, her quiet nature and sensible voice. I find affinity in her character; her inner struggles and heartfelt musings. Austen has captured that fragile mood of anxiety and dread, the tentativeness of things, a threshold of uncertainty rel…

Hard As It Gets (Hard Ink #1) by Laura Kaye

Hard As It Gets, the first in the Hard Ink series, was one spectacular ride. Laura Kaye pens a story that is not only a romance between Becca and Nick but is also about the brotherhood between Nick and his comrades. This was an unexpected story line from one of my favorite authors. Laura Kaye delivers great paranormal and contemporary romances but its the first time I'm actually reading a full on romantic mystery/action/adventure from her. Becca Merritt's brother is missing and the only thing she has was a note saying find Rixey at Hard Ink. There she meets Nick Rixey, a veteran from her father's old unit who seems outright cold to her pleas for help. Nick is feeling confused, he feels that Becca needs to be protected but her father's betrayal, his old mentor, is still forefront in his mind. This books is fast paced, tension filled, outright sexy and erotic but most of all it keeps you at the edge, guessing where the story is going, what mystery is there to be u…

The Ivy Tree by Mary Stewart

Mary Grey has nothing to look forward to except a future as colorless as her name. So if she looks, walks, and smiles so much like the glamorous missing heiress Annabel Winslow, why not be her for a little while? (*)

Arriving in Northumberland to visit the land of her ancestors, Mary Grey was confronted by a handsome stranger mistaking her for her cousin, Annabel, whom he believed was dead for years. Now she was presented by a most tempting offer, for her to disguise as Annabel and assume her place in Whitescar, the home of the Winslows, with Connor pulling the strings.

When I discovered Mary Stewart, I fell in love with her style of writing and the quiet charm of her heroines. It seems she likes to begin things in a certain poise, as displayed in a couple of her books. The chapter opens with Mary lounging on the Roman wall, cigarette in hand, staring out at a beatific landscape. There's a certain feel of film noir in her prose and lush descriptions, a dash of mystery, secrets an…

Shopgirl by Steve Martin

Lonely beauty Mirabelle spends her days on the glove counter of Neiman Marcus and spends her nights alone in her apartment with her cats. She captures the attentions of a middle-aged millionaire Ray Porter and the rather queer slacker Jeremy.
Shy as she was, like a wallflower, she attempts a relationship with Ray who is almost twice her age and the romantic journey takes her off her comfort zones as they both struggle to place their footing with each other.
The short novella's melancholic tone moved me, its subtle overtures quite tender, pushing on the psyche which I believe is what Steve Martin aims for. I look at it as a gradual romance. It touches more the silences, the pauses between the grinding chatter of our minds. Martin isn't afraid to dwell on these still and in-between moments and stretch it beyond the normal length of time to ponder. It exhausts possibilities of a tentative fragile threshold, that short pause before a person starts to speak, before a decision is m…

Roman Holiday by Ruthie Knox (serialized)

Roman Holiday 1: Chained, is the first book in a 5 part mini-series and for such a short read it delivered the first volley in what is to become another Ruthie Knox hit. Chained introduces us to our protagonists. Ashley is the chained protestor, who is still grief-stricken by her beloved grandmother's death. The subsequent selling of the Sunnyvale Vacation Rentals, the place she use to call home, to the evil land developer from Miami has made her desperate. So desperate she unthinkingly chained herself to a palm tree, with just a bikini and oversize shirt on, and with no provisions whatsoever. Enter the Latino Canadian (he just sound Canadian) land developer who is one hunk of a robot. Roman has everything under control, he'll just wait it out until Ashley has had enough and he can proceed with his plans. He didn't bargain on Ashley's tenacity, her negotiating powers and an oncoming hurricane to screw everything up. I really don't like series in priniciple …

The Chocolate Heart (Amour et Chocolat, #5) by Laura Florand

There's something undefinable about Laura Florand's writing that guaranties your undivided attention once you start reading her works.   The Chocolate Heart is no exception. Treated with the same lush and vivid imagery and artistic touch as her previous works, there is something a little bit different, a little bit more that is added to this one. The characters of Summer and Luc, from the very beginning was not lovable at all. They were the quintessential couple of spitefulness and misunderstanding. The witty dialogue isn't sweet and endearing but simply barbs of hurt flying out from their mouths. As a reader you start thinking, are these two really meant for each other; because its not looking very good at all. But trust Ms. Florand, as she starts to unravel the tale of two soulmates destined to be together, of two people starving for affection only to be thwarted at every turn. Until, as self preservation, they deflect every sign of emotion directed at them. And,…

Truly by Ruthie Knox (as serialized in WattPad)

Truly wonderful, Truly spectacular, Truly there is a naked beekeeper, Truly you will really, really love this.
Truly is a full length novel serialized in WattPad and can be read for free for a limited time. I loved May and Ben. I loved how in the short amount of time they were together in New York, they connected and had fun and got to know each other. And it was all written so well that as a reader you go "Oh yes, it can definitely happen". They were both screwed up but not in the so angsty way that you read in some books. They're flawed but they also know this, acknowledged it and as the story progresses, come to terms with it and moved forward from there. There is definitely humor and fun in this story. There are moments of truth delivered in that matter of fact way that is befitting the characters personality. Ruthie Knox gives me two ordinary people, with ordinary lives, with typical regular people problems and packages this into one extraordinary story.

Yours To Keep by Serena Bell

Yours To Keep isn't your typical romance. Serena Bell has written something with a common trope, main characters coming from two different classes, and fleshed it out, giving it more dimension and depth. Ana is an illegal immigrant by fate and not by choice. She has been living in the US for twenty years and knows no other life but the one she has. The fear of deportation has always been at the forefront of her existence. The need to hide, to keep low and not form any attachments is her form of survival. But she wants more, she works nearly everyday morning till night to save up for that undefinable future she wants so badly. Ethan is a widowed pediatrician with a teenage son, just gliding thru life since his wife's passing. Raising a child alone is a daunting task that he tries so hard to overcome. When Ana and Ethan meet everything changes for the both of them. They both learn that to truly get what you want, you have to break thru the barriers of your own making…

You Are Mine by Janeal Falor

You Are Mine, was a truly wonderful adventure into a paranormal world where women are owned and prized for the magic they hold in their blood. A definite page turner where a reader never expects where the story is headed. It pulls you in, captivates you and engages every bit of your emotions. Serena is being prepared for her marriage auction, more like a lottery. In her world men who are warlocks owned women. They are possessions to be traded for power and position. And once you become a tarnished one, a human sacrifice. Serena has no say in anything and to protect her sisters she stays quiet trying to obey her autocratic father. Her betrothed was no better. This was the lot of women, dictated by law, continued to be upheld by even her mother who has suffered as well. Until an act of fate turned the tides for her. Her quest for freedom seemed impossible, until one barbarian, a warlock, showed her how. You Are Mine was excellently written, with great world building revealed gr…

Book to Film: The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares

Four friends Lena, Bridget, Tibby and Carmen discovered that an old pair of jeans, bought on a thrift shop, happens to fit them all. And they look good on it too despite their different builds. So, they chuck it to magic and formed a friendship vow of the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (with its list of pros and cons) and decided to pass around the pants as they spent their first summer apart.

Lena (the beauty) travels to Greece, Tibby (the rebel) is stuck at the department store, Bridget (the athlete) is kicking off at the soccer camp and Carmen (the one who cares the most) is dealing with a big family surprise . Each of them wishing some magic dust in the pants will bolster them through the trying episodes they will encounter along the way, that by wearing it something good happens.

It was fun reading the quirky lists and letters on the book. There's certainly more snark and angst, more scattered thoughts and spontaneous quips here. I like the nuance of the handwriting showi…