Archive for Gina

Blood Brothers by Nora Roberts

Posted in Fiction, Gina with tags , , on April 15, 2008 by Gina

This book was a gift to me for my birthday.  Thank you C & L.  Everyone loves Nora Roberts.  I read often and as yet had not read anything by her.  In any of her various incarnations.  Lisa has sent me the first half dozen of the In Death series she writes under JD Robb.  Still I didn’t read.  Another friend has lent me another series she has written.  Still I didn’t read.  Blood Brothers –stuck in a care package alongside some sinfully delicious chocolate chip cookies– changed my feelings regarding this author.  See, ultimately, I was worried that she may not live up to the hype.  I was wrong. 

Blood Brothers is the first installment of the Sign of Seven Trilogy.  It follows three men (Caleb, Fox and Gage) who unknowningly set something evil loose on their 10th birthday.  The town of Hawkin’s Hollow now experiences this evil every seven years for one week around their birthday.  This evil brings chaos, mayhem, and murder to this tiny town.  This year a writer, Quinn Black, has come to research Hawkin’s Hollow for her new book. This book focuses on Caleb and Quinn.

I loved this book.  I thought the writing was clean and strong.  The plot was well thought out.  The backstory on the ultimate evil was original enough to suit me.  The romance was there without making the book a romance novel.  I anxiously await the next installment, The Hollow, coming out this May.  I will probably dig around and find the other Roberts’ books that are currently hiding under my bed to read in the very near future. 

One note though.  The romance is written very much like a romance novel romance.  I am not sure exactly what is different about it; however, it is a distinction that I clearly made.  It is more than a paranormal series with romance overtones.  It is more than a romance novel with a paranormal twist.  It is, in my opinion, one of the rare books that can be both. 





The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards

Posted in Fiction, General, Gina with tags , , on March 11, 2008 by Gina

I found the story to be intriguing.  In 1964, David, a doctor, is forced due to a snowstorm to deliver his baby in the doctor’s office.  His son was born perfect but an unexpected daughter was born with Down Syndrome.  To save his wife pain, David gives his daughter to the nurse to institutionalize while telling Norah, his wife, that the baby was dead.  The nurse, Caroline, doesn’t leave the newborn at the institution but instead flees to another city to raise the girl as her own.  The rest of the book is the characters dealing with the impact of that split second decision of a grieving father.  The story is beautiful, but the book fell flat with me.  The writing was very good.  The story was one that the climax happened at the beginning and the rest of the book was the fallout of that one decision.  However, I found that there just wasn’t enough emotion.  I felt that I, as the reader, should have been more involved in the character’s lives than I was allowed.  Thus I felt the character development to be inferior.  I felt there were too many secrets between the main characters and the reader.   We should have been more aware of David’s obsession with his photographs.  We should have been more involved in Caroline and Phoebe’s lives.  I really just felt disconnected from the characters.  I realize that it may have been Ms. Edwards intention to show the disconnect between all of the characters, but it just didn’t work well for me.   The ending was too pretty for me.  It just didn’t feel real.  I enjoyed reading it, but it didn’t compel to me to dig further.  After reading it, I didn’t ponder it at all.   

Iron Kissed by Patricia Briggs

Posted in Fiction, Gina with tags , , , , on March 11, 2008 by Gina

Trouble follows Mercy more than any coyote I know.  Not that I know many.  Someone is killing fae and Mercy’s favor is being called in for help.  Zee is thrown in jail for a crime he didn’t committ.  Mercy is the only one silly enough to ignore the Gray Lord’s orders and to clear Zee’s name.   This series is turning out to be one of my favorites.  Ms. Briggs surprised me with the first two installments and has not let me down.  I think that Moon Called is the strongest first installment of any series I have ever read in this genre.  Each book gets better and better.  Iron Kissed is spectacular.  The mystery is brilliant and the ending is written so thoughtfully.   The final chapters are indescrible unless I include spoilers which I am not willing to do– suffice to say it it the best ending that I have read in a long, long time.  The raw emotion that Ms. Briggs evokes from the reader is extraordinary.   I was apprehensive on how she would deal with the Samuel/Mercy/Adam triangle, as I love both werewolves involved.  I shouldn’t have been anxious because Ms. Briggs knows her characters and her craft.  It is dealt with beautifully.  I did not find it anticlimatic like some reviewers, but instead focused on the beauty of how people grow and change without realizing.  

The Harlequin by Laurell K Hamilton

Posted in Fiction, Gina with tags , , , , , on January 31, 2008 by Gina

The Harlequin is Book 15 in the Anita Blake series.  It reads pretty similar to the last several installments of the series.  So, don’t expect the Anita of Guilty Pleasures or Burnt Offerings.   I don’t mind the sexually intense writing.  I just miss the plots of the earlier books.  I miss the mystery and crime solving.  I am not one to jump ship though.  I tend to stay true to my favorite characters and I do so love Anita and Jean Claude.  So, I will keep reading the series until Ms. Hamilton decides to not write any more.  However, I will hope with each one that she goes back to the butt-kicking, crime-solving Anita of the first handful of books.  With all that being said, I love Jean-Claude and want more of him that we have gotten in these last couple books.  I truly miss the intimate relational moments that he and Anita had in the beginning of their love affair.  I think that Jean Claude gets pushed aside too much during the fury of Anita’s many lovers.   I absolutely love Edward and am glad to see him back in the fray.  I was terribly disappointed in the direction Ms. Hamilton took Raphael, the RatKing.  I was impressed with the scenes at the end in Malcolm’s church.  I thought the part with Richard says it all and I am glad that it happened that way. (Don’t want to spoil the book for all those who haven’t read it yet.)   I thought there was a major plot point that was left hanging in regards to Mommie Dearest and the fourth mark.  All in all I would say it is pretty much the same as the last three or four books.  

P.S. I Love You by Cecelia Ahern

Posted in Fiction, Gina with tags , , on January 25, 2008 by Gina

This book is several years old, but I had never heard of it until I saw a commercial for the movie.  The commercial made me want to read the book.   I picked it up at the post office and suddenly it became my first book of the year.  The short synopsis is that Holly and Gerry were in love and making a life together.  Holly loses Gerry to a brain tumor.  She is forced to go on alone.  Holly is aided in this journey by Gerry’s letters left for her.  I enjoyed P.S. I Love You as much as I had hoped that I would.  The characters are introduced as subtly as being hit by a bus.  You just jump right into a very emotional point in their lives.  But throughout the book, each character is revealed and examined in many contexts and layers.  I will admit I cried more during this book than any other book that I have ever read.  I cried every time I picked it up, but thankfully I laughed through my tears during some of it.   It is about love, grief, family, but more than anything else, I think it is a book about moving on with life after loss.  

I would recommend this book.  Just make sure that you have some tissues readily available.