Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Second Chance Pass by Robyn Carr

First off, Second Chance Pass takes place right after Whispering Rock. A Virgin River Christmas, was written after these two books were written so it was just thrown in between the two books.

Paul has returned to Grants Pass after helping Vanni deliver her baby, Matthew. He misses her terribly and already realizes that he is in love with her. He is seeing this woman named Terri in Grants Pass, and after one night of sleeping tonight, Terri announces she is pregnant with Paul's child. Paul is devastated, but he wants to do the right thing, by supporting Terri and the baby. He has to find a way to break this news to Vanni. Meanwhile, Vanni assumes he has moved on and that he is in love with Terri. Paul is finally able to assure her that he is, in fact, in love with HER! He asks her to marry him. They make plans to build a house right next door to the general's house. Paul later finds out that Terri's baby is not in fact his, much to his relief. Paul and Vanni get married right before Tom, Vannie's brother goes off to the Army. Walt becomes really good friends with his new neighbor, Muriel

Then, Matts mom tries to set Vanni up with one of her friends, Cameron, who's a doctor. Vanni thinks Cameron is a great guy, but Paul is really the one who has her heart.

Mel and Jack have a baby daughter, Emma. Paige and Preacher also have a daughter, Dana Marie.

Due to the dry conditions of the area, there is a danger of fires throughout the forest area. Shortle after Paige has her baby, several of the men go out and assist the Cal Fire in putting out fires. Unfortunately, Jack gets caught up in the fire and doesn't make it back to the bar, until a day later, much to everyone's horror.

Mike and Brie announce they are expecting a baby.

Ricky comes home for a 10 day visit, and then he leaves for Iraq.

My thoughts:

I really didn't like Vanessa, but thats actually what made the story entertaining! I loved that little triangle they had going on. I think she was kind of unfair to Cameron, with how she was stringing him along. Her and Paul should've been open and honest with each other alot earlier. I also secretly hoped Paul would get together with Terri, only because I didn't like Vanni. I didn't really like the way Vanni reacted to that situation, and how she questioned Paul about wanting to support the child. It's not like Paul cheated on her!

My favorite couple is still Jack and Mel. And Paige and Preacher.

I also didn't like Nikki and the way she ran off from Joe after their night together, and how she treated him afterward. I thought Vanni blew everything WAY out of proportion. She shouldn't be a bit surprised that Joe doesn't want to be around them.

I was waiting for Tom to announce that his girlfriend, Brenda, was pregnant.

Finished on 1/27/2009

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Distant Shores by Kristin Hannah

Elizabeth Shore has always been behind her husband, Jack, putting some of dreams aside so she can support him. Her two daughters are gone to college, and she finds herself feeling alone and like she's missed out on something. She feels like she's followed Jack from city to city as he's followed HIS dreams, and was never able to put firm roots down anywhere. She has finally found her dream HOME in Oregon right on the ocean. But for Jack, that's not enough, he still wants MORE. Jack gets a job in New York City as a sportscaster. Elizabeth makes plans to go with him to New York and try to start over there. But then her father passes away, and after alot of contemplating, Elizabeth decides she can't bring herself to leave Oregon. So, they live apart for awhile. Neither of them is sure whether not this is the actual end of their marriage. They tell their girls that Elizabeth is waiting to find a renter for the house in Oregon. They keep that charade up for awhile. Meanwhile, Elizabeth attends this Passionless Women meeting, and finds herself again. She signs up for a painting class, and brings out all her painting supplies that she put away so long ago. Her and Jack finally realize how much they really do love each other; and how much they miss each other. Jack finally gets his dream job on NFL Sunday, and Elizabeth finally agrees to move to New York with him.

My thoughts: I'm not sure what gave me the sudden urge to read this book. I'd had it on my TBR list and when I was at the library the other day, I saw it on the shelves, and picked it up. I really enjoyed this book. The storyline was quick moving, and definitely kept my attention. There weren't really any characters that I didn't like except for Sally. I have not really read many of Kristin Hannah's books, but she is definitely someone whose books I would like to read more of.

Finished January 24th, 2009

The Manning Brides by Debbie Macomber

This book contained two stories~~ Marriage of Inconvenience, which focused on Rich Manning, and Stand-In Wife, which focused on Paul Manning.

Marriage of Inconvenience- Jamie Warren desperately wants to have a child. She considers adopting and also artificial insemination. She asks her long time friend, Rich Manning to be her donor. He agrees, but he feels they should be married and he wants to be active in the childs life. Both of them have feelings for each other, and want the marriage to be more than just a marriage of convenience. But, unfortunately, it takes them a long while to admit their feelings. They also keep the marriage and pregnancy a secret from both families. Then, when they do tell their families, Jamie thinks that Rich sees this all as a big joke, based on the way he is acting. They finally do realize they really LOVE each other and they agree that Rich should move in with Jamie. And pretty much it's a Happily Ever After.

My thoughts: I didn't really like the whole premise of this story. I thought Jamie was way too needy and desperate. She also seemed to play mind games with Rich. I honestly don't know how Rich put up with her for so long. I think Jamie could've gone through an adoption agency, and part of the time I felt like she was just using Rich to get what she wanted. At times, it really didn't seem like she wanted to be married to him.

Finished on January 24th, 2009
Stand-In Wife focuses on Paul Manning. He recently lost his wife Dianne and trying to get through his grief. She died right after giving birth to their daughter, Kelsey. They also have 5 year old twin sons, Ryan and Ronnie. Dianne's sister, Leah comes to live with them to help Paul take care of the children. Eventually, Paul's parents suggest that Paul and Leah get married, which they end up doing. It starts out really being a marriage of inconvenience, but they soon realize they are attracted to each other. Then, Leah thinks she might be pregnant, which frightens Paul because he doesn't want to lose his wife again. This almost breaks up Leah and Paul's relationship, until they both recieve signals from Dianne that they are meant to be together.
My thoughts: I liked this story better than the other story. But I'm not sure what I think about a man marrying his dead wife's sister. It was a cute story though. Not very realistic, of course, but to me, I read to escape everyday life, so it's ok if a story is not realistic or has a Happy Ending, when it normally wouldn't. I think I will wait a little bit before reading Manning Grooms.
Finished on 1/28/2009.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

All the Right Angles by Stef Ann Holm

This book is about the same family that was in All that Matters. It centered around Francesca, who is the secretary for Moretti Construction, and also has her own Architecture Design business. She meets Kyle Jagger, and can't seem to get him out of her mind. Kyle owns Legacy Construction, kind of like the Rival to Moretti Construction. When Giovanni dies, the family discovers that Giovanni and Kyle have this private deal that Kyle owns part of the company. And the family is not able to buy him out, and is worried about his own company as it is. So, he deals with both companies for awhile. During this time, he and Francesca admit their attraction for each other, even when Francesca's friends put an personal ad on the internet. Eventually the Morettis find out that Giovanni had taken out a 2 million dollar life insurance policy and they are able to buy Kyle out. But, Kyle stays and works with Moretti just like he's been doing, only so he can stay close to Francesca. He also asks her to marry him.

My Thoughts: Let me start off by saying I just realized that I was so eager to read this book only because it was about the Morettis, that I didn't even look at the back cover. I was just reading the back cover and realized based on what I read, I probably wouldn't have set it down if I was in a store browsing and happened to see this book and read the back cover. That goes to show you that you never know how good a book will be just by reading the cover. I really enjoyed this book, although I liked the other book better. I liked all the characters and liked the feel of a big Italian Family. I think Kyle was perfect for Francesca...she needed to loosen up a little. I am so glad I found Stef Ann Holms books. I went to the used bookstore the other day and bought Lucy Gets Her Life Back and I also have Leaving Normal, that I got several months ago. And then I'm eagerly awaiting for the 3rd Moretti book later this year.

This Side of Heaven by Karen Kingsbury

Josh Warren, a 28 year old, was previously a tow truck driver, until he was hit by a drunk driver. He had been talking to these two girls, and when he saw the tow truck driver coming toward them, he pulled the girls out of harms way, a very heroic act. He, unfortunately, was hit, and suffers from severe back pain, and he is no longer able to work. He has a younger sister, and parents who live close by, who haven't always been very happy (or supportive) about his career choices and where he is in life. Josh also believes he is the father of a 7 year old girl named Savannah, as a result of a one night stand in Vegas. No one believes him about this. This all comes to a head when Josh chews (instead of swallows) an Oxycontin pain killer and dies in his sleep. Just before he dies, he is in court for a deposition to determine the amount of his settlement. He tells the judge he has one daughter, and she will be the heir of his settlement. His Lawyer then orders a paternity test, which indicates that Josh is, in fact, the father. The girls mother, Maria, doesn't even want the child. She is a prostitute, and lives off the money she earns from that, and from begging from people in the park. Savannah's bed is on the floor underneath a desk. Maria ends up getting arrested, and gives up her parental rights. After visiting with Savannah for an afternoon, they decide to adopt her.

My thoughts: This was an awesome book. I realize my review may have ended on a jerky, rapid note. I could definitely identify with some of the feelings Josh had and he reminded alot of my boyfriend. (They even have the same first and middle name!) I couldn't stand Marie at all and hated the way she treated Savannah most of the time. I cried when Savannah met her grandparents for the first time. I thought Annie, Josh's mom, was a bit snooty, and couldn't believe that she wanted to use the settlement money on her husband's reelection. And the scene where Lindsey was trying to tell her how much Josh had changed and Annie just blew her off really irked me too. This book is listed as a stand-alone book on Karen's website, but it is connected to the Cody Gunner Series. Josh's neighbor Carl Joseph is Cody's brother, so there was mention of them in this book. So, I am really anxious to go back and read the two books in that series. Since finishing the book, I rushed to the library and checked out the first book in the series A Thousand Tomorrows! I can't wait to read it.
I finished this book in January 2009

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

All That Matters by Stef Ann Holm

Chloe Lawson has worked hard to get her Bakery up and running, until a major grocery store chain threatens to shut it down, by buying the property. Chloe seeks the legal guidance of John Moretti, as a favor to his brother Robert, who owns a restaurant and buys all his desserts from the bakery. John is going through a tough time with his two children, after loosing his wife. While working with Chloe, he finds himself attracted to her, and helps her fight for her bakery. All ends well and Chloe ends up having her bakery right in the grocery store, which allows her to expand like she's been wanting to do and also brings her more business.

My thoughts: This was the first Stef Ann Holm book I read. My resolution for 2009 was to expand my tastes and try some new authors. I don't know what it was about this book that caught my attention, but something sure did. I found it very easily to get hooked on this book once I started reading and did not want to put it down. I was thrilled to find that this book is connected to another book All the Right Angles (which centers around the sister Francesca), and that there is even ANOTHER book coming out later in the year, which centers around their brother Mark. I enjoyed this book so much I rushed out the next day and bought All the Right Angles. I especially enjoy the fact that this family is Italian, just like my family!! This was my first Stef Ann Holm book but it definitely will NOT be my last.
One other cool thing was that I emailed Stef Ann Holm to find out about the next book and she emailed me back!!! I thought that was very cool.
I finished this on January 9, 2009

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Catching Up

So, I got lazy in November and didn't keep up with blog posts. So I'm gonna try to catch up.

I was really sorry to see the Sunrise Series end. I really can't believe how fast I got through the whole Baxter Family Saga, which includes 14 books. Karen Kingsbury is writing a sort of spin off of this series, called the Above The Line Series. The first book will be released in March. I can't wait!!!

Other books read in November:

Someday by Karen Kingsbury- this starts just after Baby Sarah died. After seeing the way Elaine was there throughout out the whole thing, He decides to ask her to marry him. Dayne and Katie are adjusting to married life and are getting ready to go shoot their movies. Luke and Regan also begin to have some trouble in their relationship.

Sunset by Karen Kingsbury- this was the final book in the Baxter Series. I was so sad to see this end. John marries Elaine, and Ashley and Landon give birth to a little boy, completing their family.

Let it Snow by Debbie Macomber- very short, but SWEET!

On Strike For Christmas by Sheila Roberts - This was funny at times, but kinda stupid-funny at times too. I honestly struggled to finish it.

Reconstructing Natalie by Laura Jensen Walker. I enjoyed this book, but did put it aside to read other books. Natalie was very strong and her friend was hilarious!

Books read in December:

Welcome To Serenity by Sherryl Woods- AWESOME BOOK!!! 4th book in the Sweet Magnolias Series. This was centered around Jeanette Brioche and Tom McDonald.

Small Town Christmas by Debbie Macomber-- I was somewhat disappointed in this book too. I had already read the first story, Return To Promise, and that was fine, but I didn't like the second story, Mail Order Bride AT ALL!

Every Now and Then by Karen Kingsbury: Third book in the 9/11 Series...AWESOME....I really liked Alex. I hope Karen Kingsbury continues this series!

Angels Everywhere by Debbie Macomber. This was somewhat disappointing also. I had started this last year but never finished it. I tried again this year, and struggled to get through the first story. Then the last story was so bad, I skimmed through most of that.

My 2009 goal was originally to read 50 books by June 30th and 100 by December 31st. But at this rate, if I could meet or exceed the number of books I read in 2008 I would be happy.

I do have some books/series Id like to read this year though:

Shenandoah Album by Emilie Richards

Midnight Sons Series by Debbie Macomber

Charleston Trilogy by Sherryl Woods

Trinity Harbor Series by Sherryl Woods

Roommates by Kathryn Stone

Keepsake by Antoinette Stockenberg

Just Desserts- Barbara Bretton

Flamingo Diner- Sherryl Woods

I recently found a new author that I LOVE!!! Stef Ann Holm . I recently finished her book All That Matters (review coming soon). I loved it!!! It reminded me of something that Sherryl Woods would right. I even emailed Stef Ann Holm to tell her how much I liked that book and she replied!!! I'm currently reading another one of her books right now, All the Right Angels. These two books are connected..they're about the same family. The family is even ITALIAN!!! So these books are perfect for me!

Until next time....