books read: january [mini-book-reviews]
I read a lot already this year, several in January alone. I’ve reviewed a few, and here are a few others that I wanted to write something quick up. This isn’t the entire list of books I read in January, but it covers most of them. All in all, I thought January was a really great month for me for books read. Looking forward to the rest of the year!
Being Sloane Jacobs, Lauren Morrill – [Delacorte, January 2014]
While it was a bit contrived and unbelievable, that didn’t matter. What mattered is that I love hockey, I love figure skating, I love swapping identities stories (Parent Trap, anyone?), and I love romance. Which is everything that Being Sloane Jacobs was. Basically, there are two Sloane Jacobs. Both ice skate, one playing hockey and one figure skating. They end up in the same city and decide to switch places at their figure skating and hockey camps. They both learn a lot about themselves and their relationships. They meet boys. There’s romance. There’s skating. There’s pairs figure skating. There’s a sassy gay friend. There are family issues. But most of all, there’s fun. Really, it was a fun, light read that I greatly enjoyed, even if it was at times unbelievable (but when is swapping places ever believable unless the two people are identical twins?). Oh, and this book has the privilege of being the first purchased eBook that I ever read.
Under the Dome, Stephen King – [Scribner, November 2009]
After reading On Writing as my final book in 2013, I knew I had to give Stephen King a real chance. The problem is, I don’t do scary. Or terrifying. Or overly suspenseful. So you can imagine my wariness when it came to my decision to read a King novel. That said, I started watching the “Under the Dome” series last summer, and I really enjoyed it. (I didn’t finish the season because of the CBS-Time-Warner crap.) It didn’t seem scary or anything, so I decided to tackle the 1000+ page novel. I really, really liked it. King’s style is definitely gritty and raw, and it took some getting used to with regards to the language, the gruesome descriptions, and the casual way the story dealt with violence, abuse, death, sex, rape, murder, etc. Actually, I don’t know if I ever really got used to it, or to the fact that 90% of the characters were, frankly, horrible, awful, disgusting people. But in the end, it was a fantastic story with enough page-turning action that I kept reading and made it through the entire thing. Overall, it was a good first journey into King’s fiction. Maybe I’ll read another.
A Bride in the Bargain, Deeanne Gist – [Bethany House, June 2009]
I haven’t met a Deeanne Gist novel I haven’t adored. Her historical inspirational romances are wonderful. The characters are enjoyable, believable, and fun. The romance is often slow-building with a big pay off. By the end of the novels, I’m cheering and begging for our hero and heroine to get together. A Bride in the Bargain is no different. It’s got the same misunderstandings, worries, flirtations, and apprehensions. In this one, Joe Denton needs a wife to keep his land in 1860s Seattle, and a man in the area has sent away to the east for war widows that he’ll match up with the men looking for wives. Anna Ivey isn’t a war widow, and she isn’t told that she’ll be getting married, just that she’s going to be a cook. Of course, that’s not what Joe’s expecting, and Anna does not want to be a wife, so you can imagine how this goes. What I like most about Gist’s novels is how alive and real they feel, even though they’re set in a time period I have little experience in. This wasn’t my favorite Gist novel (that would be Maid to Match), but it was probably number two.
No Good Duke Goes Unpunished, Sarah MacLean – [Avon, November 2013]
I love a good Regency romance. And I’ve loved all of Sarah MacLean’s. This is another in one of her series that follows a group of aristocratic men who clandestinely run a gaming hell in London. As with most good Regency romance series, we get to know a bunch of characters and with the release of each book, we’re excited for familiar faces and excited to see how our favorites fare. This is Temple’s story, and he’s known as the Killer Duke, for a murder he doesn’t think he committed. The woman in question, Mara, shows up again years later and, well, sparks fly. This was an interesting twist on the same old Regency romance story, and I really enjoyed it. But, to be honest, what I enjoyed most happened on that last page, where I had to close my book with a loud, shocked, gasp. Now that’s what I call a great book!
In January, I also read Love Letters to the Dead, and my review is forthcoming closer to pub date!