Sunday, February 28, 2010

Moonlight Road by Robyn Carr

This was book #10 in the Virgin River Series, and like all the other books I've read by Robyn Carr, I was DEFINITELY not disappointed in this one. I really love the Riordan family, and can't wait to hear the other two brothers' stories. This book was based on Aiden Riordan. He goes up to a cabin in the mountains where he finds, a beautiful woman named Erin. Erin is the sister to Marcie, who we met in Virgin River Christmas, when she went to that very same cabin to find her late husband's best friend Ian. Marcie and Ian are now married and are expecting their baby boy, who Marcie gives birth to at the very end of the book. (They name him Heath. Erin has decided that she needs a summer of from the demands of her job as a lawyer, and has the cabin totally refurbished and made liveable. Aiden continues to "visit" Erin at her cabin. However, in the beginning it's hard to tell who is more enthused about these visits, Erin or Aiden. But as time goes on, Aiden and Erin develop feelings for each other, and even manage to survive through the drama that Aiden's ex-wife causes when she turns up. After years of caring for everyone else, Erin finally has someone to care for HER!

Luke and Shelby have their baby as well...also a little boy. They name it Brett Lucas Riordan.

I really liked this story. However, I still liked Forbidden Falls and Angels peak better. I saw a different side of Mel in this book, which was interesting. And, I really liked Erin, which was interesting because I remember when I read Virgin River Christmas, I thought she was really bossy. I can't wait to hear what happens next for them, and my only complaint is that we have to wait 9 whole months to find out!

Finished on 2/28/10.

Big Girl by Danielle Steel

I have always been a huge fan of Danielle Steel; she was one of the first "adult" authors that I read (Mary Higgins Clark being the other). This book was just one more to add to my list of favorites. Victoria has struggled with her weight for her entire life, and unfortunately, her parents don't make it any easier, in fact they make it harder. Her dad makes fun of her any chance he gets and basically tells her she's been a huge disappointment to them right from the moment she was born, because 1) she wasn't a boy and 2) she was born with her great-grandmother's build (which was on the big side) and also her nose, and her mom never defends her to him. As Victoria grows up, this affects her in many ways. It doesn't help that when Victoria is seven years old, her mom gives birth to her little sister Gracie. Victoria loves Gracie to pieces, but she can't help notice how Gracie is "one of them" and she (Victoria) is treated like an outsider more and more as time goes on. As Victoria grows up, she learns to ignore her fathers hurtful comments, but at the same time struggles with her weight She finally meets a guy named Collin who loves her for HER, not what she looks like. He is sort of a misfit in his family too, and the two of them quickly find a special connection. Victoria's family, especially her dad, is shocked that she has found someone so good looking. Her dad would always tell her that she's too fat, and her mom would always tell her that she's too smart, both of them implying that looks are EVERYTHING. Meanwhile, Gracie ends up marrying someone that is just like her father. Victoria does everything she can to change Gracie's mind, but soon realizes that she has to let Gracie live her own life, and make her own mistakes. Victoria must also let go so she can live HER OWN life with Collin, the job she loves, and also her new body image/diet/exercise regimen.

I really loved this book, it was definitely one of my favorite Danielle Steel books. I stayed up until 2am this morning finishing this book, and to me, any book that keeps me awake until 2am autom atically goes on my favorites. I could definitely relate to Victoria on some level. While I wasn't overweight my entire life, I did become overweight as an adult, and reading this book, made me start to think about some of my own exercise/diet/weight loss goals. AND, once again it proved to me that there ARE men who will see women for who they are NOT what they look like. I think Danielle covered issue that alot of women struggle with, and it was a nice change from her usual books where they fall in love right away. I finished the book feeling really happy for Victoria. I spent most of the book with my jaw dropped, appalled at some of the things her dad said to her. I think if that were me, I'd curl into a ball and cry. I don't know how she was able to take that for so long. I was glad she got away from them when she did.

After I finished the book, I found a clip in youtube where Danielle Steel is discussing this book. She says "The message in big girl is that you don't have to look like everyone else, you don't have to be on the cover of Vogue to be happy, meet a great guy, have a nice life, and have self-esteem. I think it's about succeeding and prevailing and feeling good about yourself for who you are". This is exactly how I felt when I finished the book. I think I was able to relate to Victoria because she was a very "real" person. Danielle also mentioned that alot of books are about characters who are gorgeous, lead the perfect lives, have the perfect boyfriend. And Victoria was just the opposite. Though she did end up with the perfect guy, she wasn't gorgeous, perfect, and definitely had some issues with herself that most women do, therefore, very relatable. Normally I do read books to ESCAPE from reality, so it doesn't matter whether the characters are imperfect, but it is always nice when there's that one character that I can relate to.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Lake Magic by Kimberly Fisk

You can find the link here.

Kimberly Fisk was another new author to me. Lake Magic is actually her debut book. I found this book when I was at Borders, and honestly, the cover---AND probably the title-was what urged me to pick it up and read the back cover. I didn't buy it the day I found it, but came home and mentioned it to some of book reading friends, who said they also planned to read it. So, the next time I went back to Borders (to pick up The Next Best Thing, and another book) I got Lake Magic too.

I will say this---I started out giving the book 3 stars, but ended up changing it to 4. I don't know what it was about the beginning..a little too slow going, perhaps? I had a hard time sticking with it. And the beginning VAGUELY reminded me of another book I've read in the past, but soon came enough twists in the story to make it unique. Toward the end I got more "into" the story and became eager to find out what happened. I didn't really care for Jared, and if you read the story it should be obvious as to why. I was able to relate to Jenny on SO MANY different levels, and that usually makes me like a book that much more.

I will also say that, in my opinion, it was quite obvious that this was Kimberly Fisk's debut novel. BUT, I definitely think she has alot of potential to improve with each future book she writes, and would definitely read any of her future books.

This book was set in Washington in a fictional town called Hidden Lake, near the Olympic Mountains.

I finished this book on or around February 10th (again this is what I get for not writing my thoughts AS SOON AS I finish the book!)

This was book #7 for the year.

The Next Best Thing by Kristan Higgins

Here is the link to Amazon.

I really, really, REALLY liked this book! It was definitely one of my favorites for the year. This was also a NEW author to me! I have her other 4 books on my ebook reader, but haven't read them yet. I LOVED her writing style and loved reading the interaction between the characters. She has such a sarcastic, witty way of writing. The main family was Hungarian, but I loved how the secondary family---I gues you could call them that--was Italian, and loved the descriptions of food, their restuarant, and whatnot. As for the characters there really weren't any that I disliked. I knew all along that Lucy belonged with Ethan, and the only times I wanted to smack Lucy was when she pushed Ethan away. But luckily both came to their senses. Obviously, in real life, a guy wanting to date his dead brother's wife WOULD bother me, but since this is fiction and I do, after all, read to ESCAPE reality, this aspect did not bother me one bit.

I would LOVE to see any book centered around these same characters, perhaps with one of the Black Widows as the main character. I also liked how this story was written in first person...a nice change from the usual books that aren't. And I can't wait to read her other books soon.

(I know this review does not do the book own fault for not writing this entry as soon as I had finished the book, when my emotions were fresh in my mind).

a few other tidbits:

This book was set in a small town in Rhode Island--The Lang family owns a Hungarian Bakery and Ethan's family owns an Italian Restaurant.

I finished this on 1/31/2009
book #6 for the year (not too happy about this total)

I first heard about this author through my friends in the Robyn Carr Chatgroup--one of my many online bookgroups---about a year or so ago.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


So I seem to be in a reading slump...I have a TON of books I want to read, I just can't settle on any one of them. I started several, and maybe that was part of my problem...I should just focus on one at a time. is where I'm at

I recently finished two great books. The Next Best Thing by Kristan Higgins and Lake Magic by Kimberly Fisk. Both were "new to me" authors and I will write in depth reviews soon...hopefully tomorrow.

Books I started but never seemed to finish:

Amazing Gracie by Sherryl Woods
It Happened One Night by Lisa Dale
Talk Me Down by Victoria Dahl

Library books I have:

Between Husbands and Friends

All of these are by Nancy Thayer

Lonestar Sanctuary- Colleen Coble
True Colors and The The Winter Garden by Kristan Hannah
Brava, Valentine by Adriana Trigiani
The Nanny Returns by Emma McLaughlin


These two are by Lori Foster and are the first two books in her Buckhorn Brothers Series.

I really need to get moving if I plan to get all these books read!

I also recently bought Knock Me For A Loop by Heidi Betts- third in her Chicks With Sticks Series. And also Start Me Up by Victoria Dahl--the sequel to Talk Me Down--because none of the libraries had it. I hate when they have the first and third book but NOT the second. Oh well.

Ok thats my update.