Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Review: A Cold Creek Secret by RaeAnne Thayne

Book Details:
A Cold Creek Secret
By RaeAnne Thayne
Genre: Romance
Published 2010, Harlequin
Paperback, 212 pages
ISBN: 9780373202744

          Just back from a tour of duty, all Major Brant Western wanted was a hot meal and a warm bed. What he "didn't" need was the stunning socialite in disguise who'd just shown up at his family's Cold Creek ranch. Scandal trailed bad girl Mimi Van Hoyt--aka "Maura"--everywhere she went. But once Brant discovered her secret, how could he turn her away?
Being stranded in the middle of nowhere in a blizzard was not Mimi's idea of a fun time in the Tetons. Then why was she starting to think this sexy soldier could be more than her shelter from the storm? And the more determined Brant was to protect her and her unborn child, the more she believed that this honorable, irresistible military man was the only man for her.
I received this book as a free gift from Harlequin, but I liked the cover, so it did not take me long to get around to reading it. Normally, I find Harlequin romances formulaic in format and rather predictable. This book was a bit better than most, maybe because this is the second book that I have read by RaeAnne Thayne.
I found the situation that put a Hollywood socialite at the mercy of a random cowboy / army major to be a little unbelievable, but once the plot moved past the initial stages, I liked the chemistry between Mimi Van Hoyt and Brant Western. The two characters were in many ways complete opposites, but they still complemented each other. It was hugely ironic that Mimi became homemaker to Brant's place -- nesting syndrome was kicking in early. I also did not expect the period of separation, though it fit with Brant's military duties.
This book was a sweet, quick read that made me smile.

The Cover: The cover is sweet and romantic, without being overly sappy. I kinda like it.

First Line: "No matter what exotic parts of the world he visited, Brant Western hadn't forgotten how the cold of a February evening in Idaho could clutch at his lungs with icy claws that refused to let go."
The cold of winter is something I can relate to, which makes this opening line appealing to me.

Favorite Quote: "But then, I'd like to believe strawberry cheesecake isn't really fattening, either."

Read For: Read Your Own Name Challenge, TBR Pile Challenge

*I received this book free of charge from the publisher for review purposes.*

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Teaser Tuesday: Abby Finds Her Calling by Naomi King

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
1. Grab your current read.
2. Open to a random page.
3. Share two “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page.
4. BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!).
5. Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My Teaser:
          Monday afternoon James slipped into the back room of his carriage shop. The CLOSED sign would stay in the front window because he wasn't ready to deal with people, but coming here to work offered his only chance of regaining some peace... some perpective, after all the surprises of the past weekend. Running the Members' Meeting through his mind again and again was driving him crazy, yet he couldn't stop. Zanna's confession filled his memory: the way her hand shook as it covered her face... his name on her lips as she admitted she'd been wrong to betray him, to forsake the love he'd shown her." pg. 98, Abby Finds Her Calling by Naomi King

What are you reading this week?

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Review: Last Breath by Rachel Caine

Book Details:
Last Breath
By Rachel Caine
Genre: Fantasy
Published November 2011, New American Library
Hardback, 335 pages
ISBN: 9780451234872

          With her boss preoccupied researching the Founder Houses in Morganville, student Claire Danvers is left to her own devices when she learns that three vampires have vanished without a trace. She soon discovers that the last person seen with one of the missing vampires is someone new to town-a mysterious individual named Magnus. After an uneasy encounter with Morganville's latest resident, Claire is certain Magnus isn't merely human. But is he a vampire-or something else entirely?
I always crack open the next Morganville book knowing that I will love it before I read a single word. Rachel Caine is a writer I can depend on. In this book, she takes the concept that she used in the previous book of sharing the P.O.V. with another character and multiplies it. In other words, while Claire still gets the most narration, the reader also gets to read a bit of narration by Amelie, Shane, Michael, and Eve. Shane's thought process is familiar from the previous book, and Eve's reminds me of her diary entries from the early books in the series. Michael's are interesting because I got to see some of the darkness that he struggles with on a daily basis, while trying to hide it from the other members of the Glass House. I enjoy Amelie's P.O.V. the most because she obviously has the most secrets and history to reveal. Caine could easily make Amelie the main character of a prequel series about the founding of Morganville (how I wish!).
Claire is in top form as usual, as she has the unique -- and unexplained -- ability to see Magnus before anyone else, or before Magnus even wants to be seen. Magnus is quite the horror-movie creature, the draug, whom even the local vamps fear. Reading the detailed descriptions of what he can do with water gives me goosebumps. As for how Magnus retaliates against Claire, I simply refused to believe that Claire's state was permanent -- she is simply too essential to the series. Now I am wondering, though, how the series would fare if Claire went vamp -- but that's all up to Rachel Caine.
The one thing I really disliked, of course, was how the book ended -- the first cliff-hanger of the series. There was just way too big of a loose end hanging to leave me feeling satisfied. The rest of the book was still fabulous, though, and I can't wait for Black Dawn to hit the shelves.

The Cover: I always love the covers for this series. The white and blue of this cover lend a cold, icy feel to the book.

First Line: "Shane's lips felt like velvet against the nape of her neck, and Claire shivered in delight as his breath warmed the skin there."
I never tire of the sweetness between Shane and Claire. This is certainly a good way to hook my interest.

Favorite Quote“Well,” Naomi said cheerfully, “what’s the worst that can happen?” They were silent, considering that, because there were just so many possibilities. But in the end, it was a better idea than Facebook.

Read For: Just for Fun Challenge, Young Adult Challenge

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Review: Summer of Secrets by Charlotte Hubbard

Book Details:
Summer of Secrets
By Charlotte Hubbard
Genre: Inspirational Romance
Published February 2012, Zebra Books
Paperback, 352 pages
ISBN: 9781420121698

          In the bestselling tradition of Beverly Lewis and Jan Karon, Hubbard presents a beautifully drawn new series, which follows the charming residents of Willow Ridge and the conflicts involving the old Amish ways in a modern world, and the temptations of leaving this plain heritage behind.
I know very little about the Amish lifestyle, though there is a similar community near where I live. This book was a good introduction to their beliefs and practices without the details getting in the way of the plot. Tidbits of the Dutch language are also interspersed throughout the dialogue to make it more realistic. Food plays a prominent role in the plot, with several of the main characters running a restaurant together called "Sweet Seasons." Many of the recipes featured in the back of the book were served up in the restaurant, and many descriptions of the food sparked my appetite, such as the cinnamon rolls and orange knots. So many of the Amish ways focus on Plain living, such as an old-fashioned washing machine and garden-grown fruits and vegetables. While some aspects could be considered inconvenient, such as no telephones except for businesses, other practices make for a healthier lifestyle. "Modern" society could certainly learn a few things from the Amish.
The characters were easily relate-able, even with such polar opposites as Rachel - high-maintenance and emotional - and her long-lost sister, Tiffany/ Rebecca - withdrawn and goth. I also rather liked Micah, Rachel's fiance, for his desires to help others and be responsible while also being honest with himself. Rebecca is the perfect dichotomy to the Amish faith, as she questions everything and behaves and dresses nothing like the Plain people, though she was born in the community. Miriam, the triplet's widowed mother, is also a subtle example of how even the women can gain independence and self-sufficiency by operating her own restaurant with the aid of her daughters.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, especially for its conservative approach to romance and drama, and I know that I will be delving into more Amish literature.

The Cover: I like the simple beauty of the cover, though I'm not really sure exactly who the young woman is supposed to represent in the story.

First Line: "And what shall I bring for your dinner, Micah?"
This opening line is a good introduction to the central part that food plays in the book.

*I received this book free of charge from the publisher for review purposes.*

Monday, February 20, 2012

Guest Post: Covert Dreams by Michael Meyer

Today I have Mike Meyer here, author of Covert Dreams, to tell us a bit about himself and his new book. Here is the synopsis of the book:

          Is the mysterious disappearance of an American in today's Saudi Arabia somehow linked to a terrible murder in Munich back in 1984? What is real, and what is not? Who is really who, and why? What is behind the murder, the kidnappings, and the nightmares all leading up to what end? COVERT DREAMS is an international thriller that will keep you on the edge of your chair. It grabs you in the very first sentence and then never lets go. The mounting intensity moves from the beer gardens of Munich to the burning sands of Arabia. Just as you think you have things figured out, wham, another twist! Do you love mysteries? Do you love thrillers? Do you love suspense? If so, then COVERT DREAMS is for you.

Welcome, Mike Meyer, and please tell us about yourself:

Readers may sometimes wonder, “Who is this person who wrote this book I am reading?” My name is Michael Meyer, the author of a suspenseful thriller entitled COVERT DREAMS, and I have lived a very interesting life. 
I have resided in and have visited many places in the world, all of which have contributed in some way to my own published writing. I have literally traveled throughout the world, on numerous occasions. I have lived in Finland, Germany, Thailand, Saudi Arabia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, on the island of St. Croix. I gained the wanderlust to see the world, to experience other cultures, at an early age, and this desire has never left me. If anything, it has only gained in intensity as I have aged. I try to travel internationally at least once a year. In the interim, I spend lots of time traveling around both my home state of California and other nearby states. 
I spent my early years in the small town of Lone Pine, California, the home of almost every western movie, in addition to a wide variety of other genres, made in the 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, and 60’s. In fact, Hollywood still films parts of big-time movies there today. My dad, the town’s lifeguard at the time, personally knew John Wayne, Lloyd Bridges, and Lee Marvin, all of whom came to the town’s pool, the Memorial Plunge, at times to cool off after a hectic day of working in the sun. I was even an extra in a movie filmed there in 1957, MONOLITH MONSTERS, a B-cult favorite even today. I was ten years old at the time. Even though I resided in a small town hours from the big city, I was exposed to the excitement of action and heroes at a formative age. 
From the beginning of 5th grade until I finished my first two years of college, at my hometown’s community college, I lived in Ventura, California, just south of Santa Barbara, where I lived the magical life for which Southern California is so famous. The sunshine, the waves, the surf, and the idyllic location—I recognized the wonderment of all of them.
As a college graduate, I taught at universities throughout the world, and my international thriller COVERT DREAMS was born, in my mind, as I traveled throughout Europe and the Arab Middle East, the two most prominent locales in this novel of suspense. I am currently hard at work at my next novel of suspense, this one set on the island of St. Croix, in the middle of the enticing Caribbean, where I spent four of my forty years as an English professor at the University of the Virgin Islands. 
As a recent retiree, I now live in Southern California wine country with my wife, Kitty, and our two other cats.

What an interesting life! Thank you for stopping by!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Free Excerpt of Witchful Thinking by H.P. Mallory

H.P. Mallory is new to Random House but has previously self-published her witchy wonders, which are fun romantic stories. I received a link to this free excerpt for President's Day weekend, which is Family Day weekend in Canada, as well. Here is a synopsis of Witchful Thinking:

          Jolie thinks she’s seen it all, but life continues to spring surprises. The latest shocker? She’s just been crowned Queen of the Underworld. Jolie may possess a rare gift for reanimating the dead, but she doesn’t know the first thing about governing disparate factions of supernatural creatures. She can barely maintain order in her own chaotic personal life, which is heading into a romantic tailspin.
First there’s sexy warlock Rand, the love of her life, from whom Jolie is hiding a devastating secret. Then there’s Sinjin, a darkly seductive vampire and Jolie’s sworn protector—though others suspect he harbors ulterior motives. As the two polar opposite yet magnetic men vie for Jolie’s affection, she must keep her wits about her to balance affairs of state and affairs of her heart. Overwhelmed, under pressure, and longing for love, Jolie decides it’s time to take charge—and show everyone that this queen won’t take jack.

Witchful Thinking: A Jolie Wilkins Novel by H. P. Mallory (Free Excerpt)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Review: Across the Universe by Beth Revis

Book Details:
Across the Universe
By Beth Revis
Genre: Young Adult
Published 2011, Razorbill
Hardback, 398 pages
ISBN: 9781595143976

          Seventeen-year-old Amy joins her parents as frozen cargo aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed and expects to awaken on a new planet, three hundred years in the future. Never could she have known that her frozen slumber would come to an end fifty years too soon and that she would be thrust into the brave new world of a spaceship that lives by its own rules.
Amy quickly realizes that her awakening was no mere computer malfunction. Someone - one of the few thousand inhabitants of the spaceship - tried to kill her. And if Amy doesn't do something soon, her parents will be next.
Now, Amy must race to unlock Godspeed's hidden secrets. But out of her list of murder suspects, there's only one who matters: Elder, the future leader of the ship and the love she could never have seen coming.
The opening of this novel was a bit too nauseating for my tastes, with the details of how the people aboard the spaceship Godspeed are cryogenically frozen turning my stomach, but it certainly served to make the book more realistic. I had wrongly assumed that Beth Revis would open the novel with Amy already frozen, or just waking up, but this approach has me evaluating my own life and what it would take to volunteer for such a mission. Waking up 300 years in the future, leaving behind everything you have ever known, without even the option to return to it -- such an existence feels very lonely to me. Already I have a certain respect for Amy's choice.
The perspective of the male main character, Elder, alternating with Amy's thoughts and dreams in her frozen state were interesting. I kind of expected Amy to finally wake up mad as a hatter from her conscious entrapment. Eldest likely would have just dumped her into space if that had happened.
The encased world that had been created inside the spaceship Godspeed was both mind-boggling in its vastness and claustrophobic in its simplicity. Many things are seen as commonplace, such as genetic manipulation and mass control through brain-washing and the widespread use of drugs. Many things are backwards from what I know in today's reality, such as Eldest's support of Hitlerian tactics, and the idea that those of creative and genius-level intellect are "crazy", while the mind-numbed masses are "normal." The language has also evolved into a kind of slurred and shortened English that Amy struggles to understand, as well as the addition of new slang terms.
Amy has quite an uphill battle in enacting change on this ship for the better, especially with her red hair, green eyes, and pale skin. I certainly would not want to be in her shoes, but I admire her resolve and determination despite how alone and trapped she feels. Elder is ignorant and immature at the beginning of the novel, but Amy's presence wakes him up to the reality of his world and his responsibility towards it.
The book does not have a real "ending" so much as a place to pause -- until the next book comes out. There were a ton of questions I had at the end that I hope are resolved in the next book, such as Doc's lack of an apprentice. On to A Million Suns!

The Cover: The cover was one of the main reasons I wanted to read this book, even though I am usually not a science fiction fan. I just keep going back to that cover.

First Line: "Daddy said, 'Let Mom go first.'"
Just from that first line, I can guess that the main character has a closer connection with her father than her mother. I am intrigued.

Favorite Quote: "This is the secret of the stars, I tell myself. In the end, we are alone. No matter how close you seem, no one else can touch you."

Read For: Young Adult Challenge, Dystopia Challenge

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Teaser Tuesday: Insatiable by Meg Cabot

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
1. Grab your current read.
2. Open to a random page.
3. Share two “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page.
4. BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!).
5. Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My Teaser:
          The most amazing thing -- to Meena, anyway -- was that she never would have guessed he was a killer. Not at first glance, anyway. He was dressed so nicely, in dark form-fitting jeans, a cashmere sweater, and a long, black leather trench. The scarf around his neck looked as if it were made from cashmere, too -- at least from where Meena was standing -- and brought out the blue in his eyes... the kind of bright blue eyes that wouldn't have been out of place on some hunky blond heartthrob making his way down a red carpet or paddling a surfboard off a sandy white Australian beach.
They hardly looked like the eyes of a killer. - pg. 212, Insatiable by Meg Cabot
What are you reading this week?

Monday, February 13, 2012

Guest Blog: The Forsaken Series by Elise Whyles and Ciara Lake

Today, I have the authors of The Forsaken Series here to talk a bit about themselves and their books. Elise Whyles wrote the first book, Forsaken Heart, and Ciara Lake wrote the second book, Curse of the Dragon's Claim. The first book will be released in April 2012. Here is the series overview:
Among us walk immortal beings – cursed to hide within the shadows they live along side us as they have for centuries. Using, feeding, living off the mortals so reviled for their weakness – yet there are some who will be awakened and immortality will be given.
Now, an ancient evil stirs – rising to threaten not only the Immortal Realms but the mortal world. A cursed vampire General stirs, plotting his revenge on those who have forsaken him…but he’s forgotten about the innocent, who like him have been punished.
There are those who are Forsaken.
It could be anyone among us…
Please welcome Elise Whyles and Ciara Lake:

Elise Whyles: Thank you for opening your blog, it’s nice to be able to come by and chat about writing, our series, and life in general.
I’ve been writing for years, it’s always been such a large part of me. If I’m not writing I’m usually reading – and thus opening my mind to inspiration. The industry is as fluid as a raging river, which is good because it allows authors like me a chance to play in genres and ideas outside of the box.
I’m currently writing with another author, Ciara Lake, on the Forsaken Series. This is a near and dear project because it combines our love of world building with our love of writing a sexy, hot romance guaranteed to make you want to turn the pages. When we started on the journey to do this series we spent weeks brainstorming what species we’d use, how long the books would be, even the details on word count and heat were discussed…one thing we didn’t discuss but probably should have is the size of the series.
It was born of an idea and we’d anticipated four books maybe six – just goes to show what anticipation can do. Now we’re working on more ideas and hoping to really build it into something much larger and something readers are going to be hooked on.
We often talk about goals, aspirations, and inspirations for the series and one of the things coming up more and more often is the dream to have the entire series made into a mini-series or movie. Frankly, we’d love to see the dream bear fruit, but it may not – it's about who you know, not what.
What’s next? For me, I’ll be working on a few romances featuring some sexy heroes and even sexier heroes.

Ciara Lake:  Hello and thank you for having me on your blog. Elise gave such a good introduction to our Forsaken series. I am very excited to work on this fantasy world with her. I love to create worlds of sci fi and fantasy. I met Elise through another publisher and we hit it off. We talked about the industry and our dreams. We started to brainstorm about the Forsaken series and everything came together.
I love coming home each night and writing after a stressful day at work. These fantasy worlds are a great escape and I hope our readers find them as equally entertaining as we do.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Review: The Elephant Mountains by Scott Ely

Book Details:
The Elephant Mountains
By Scott Ely
Genre: Young Adult
Published 2010, Orca Book Publishers
Paperback, 203 pages
ISBN: 9781554694068

          An unprecedented series of hurricanes has swollen the Mississippi River to unheard-of levels and is threatening to put New Orleans and most of the low-lying areas of the South under water. Fifteen-year-old Stephen is spending the summer with his father near a small town north of Lake Pontchartrain when another powerful hurricane arrives and the levees on the Mississippi River completely fail. In the anarchy and chaos that results, Stephen's father is killed, and the boy is left to fend for himself. Stephen soon encounters Angela, a college student whose parents have also been killed. Navigating the labyrinth of flooded fields and towns in an airboat, the two set out in search of Stephen's mother and higher ground.
Armed with both guns and the skills his survivalist father has taught him, and repeatedly confronted by those who will kill for food, water and weapons, Stephen struggles to maintain hope and his humanity in the face of violence and desperation.
This book is set in New Orleans and the surrounding areas, which is near where I am from, so I was intrigued by the book. The post-apocalyptic story line is reminiscent of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, but on a grander scale. The language, the culture, the people -- all are true to the New Orleans area.
Right away I was struck by the simplistic nature of the writing. This is Scott Ely's first book in the Young Adult genre, which I could easily guess from what the writing lacked. One major thing that bothered me throughout the book was Ely's habit of "telling" instead of "showing." He repeatedly made statements in the book like this: "She went on to tell him that their house was close by, on high ground, and they thought they could live upstairs." (page 38) Why couldn't Ely have written this out in dialogue. This kind of writing is littered throughout the text, and it left me feeling like I had been shorted a proper book. At a little over 200 pages in length, this book was too short for my expectations. I normally love dystopia, but this one was disappointing.
The main character Stephen was a likable character, but he seemed to be both extremely lucky and a kind of talisman for death. I understand that the conditions of the area that Stephen was traveling through were extremely dangerous with very limited resources, but did just about every single person that Stephen came across have to die? That strikes me as overkill, pardon the pun.
I also did not understand the ending. If there really was as much flooding as the radio continuously announced, then Stephen would have needed to travel much further than he did to find dry ground.
I gave the book three stars because I really liked the premise of the book, though it fell short of my expectations.

The Cover: The cover is simple, but is a simple reminder of the swamps of Louisiana, with a radio in the corner to reference the radio station that Stephen often listens to in the book.

First Line: "Stephen lay on the cot on the screened porch and looked up at the stars."
I always wanted a screened porch, and just this opening line reminds me of Louisiana.

Read For: Read Your Own Books Challenge, Dystopia Challenge, TBR Pile Challenge, What's in a Name Challenge, Young Adult Challenge

*I received this book free of charge from a random draw.*

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Guest Post: Love Again Anthology by Melissa Kendall

Melissa Kendall is one of seven authors of the Valentine's Day-appropriate anthology from Ruby Lioness Press, Love Again, which features seven tales of a second chance at love. The book is set to release on Valentine's Day (of course!), February 14th, 2012. Melissa Kendall writes the short story, Life in Suitcases, and I have her here today to tell my lovely readers about how she became a published author. Enjoy!

I never expected that when I was a teenager, spending hours in my room writing down the words that kept revolving around in my mind, that one day I would actually be a published author. I might have had dreams, but really no one ever expects that kind of thing to happen.
Of course as I got older, life got in the way. When I gave birth to my son three years ago, I suddenly had all this time on my hands. What was I supposed to do at three in the morning when my son was having a feed? Well, I got out my laptop and discovered the wonders of ebooks.
Ebooks were definitely the saving grace of my sanity in the first year of my son’s life. I could quite often be found, son nestled feeding on one side, and laptop perched on the arm of the chair on the other side, an ebook of some variety open.   It didn’t take long however for my reading to turn to writing.
Then of course those long since forgotten dreams of becoming an author returned, though I still never expected it to actually happen.
But it did, and I definitely did a happy dance when I received my first contract offer.
How did that happen, you may be wondering?

Well, I was on a publisher's site one day looking to purchase a book, when I saw that they were holding an original fiction contest, one of the prizes being, having your story published.

I had been writing for fun in one way, shape, or form for years, and I'd had an idea for a story kicking around for a while that I was considering writing, but just hadn’t. It was long and complicated compared to the short stories I usually wrote, and I just didn’t have the time.
When I saw the contest though, I decided I would give it a go -- worst happens no one likes it, and I keep writing for fun, best happens they like it and I get published.
You couldn’t have wiped the grin off my face when the email came through letting me know they were interested in publishing my work.
Suddenly a whole new world was opened to me. All of the stories I had been writing that no one really read, I wondered whether people would like to read those as well.
That was when my friend Tamaria Soana, a fellow author, brought the Love Again Anthology to my attention. She told me she was going to write a story for it and I knew straight away that I already had a piece I had written a while ago that suited the anthology perfectly.
So I submitted Life in Suitcases to Ruby Lioness Press’s, Love Again Anthology. Low and behold, they liked it and suddenly I had two publishing contracts.

Life in Suitcases
Elise Morgan’s childhood is seemingly perfect until one tragic event changes everything. Moved to Abbotts Home for Displaced Children she meets Anthony Scott and they become fast friends. Once they are out of the 'system' fate sets them on separate paths. How will they do on their own? One tries life away from their past, only to decide that the only family they'd ever known was what they had needed all along.

Of course, as fate would have it, my publishing career didn’t stop there. I currently have four contracts for publishing, two novellas and two novels.
I guess what I wanted to share with you by telling you how I got published, is that you never know unless you give it a go. If you had told me six months ago that I was going to have four of my works published, I would have laughed in your face, yet here I am.
Anything is possible even if you are an Australian from the remotest city in the world.
If you would like to find out more about my original fiction, check out my blog at

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Review: Persuasion: A Latter-Day Tale by Rebecca H. Jamison

Book Details:
Persuasion: A Latter-Day Tale
By Rebecca H. Jamison
Genre: Christian Fiction
Published March 2012, Bonneville Books
Paperback, 227 pages
ISBN: 9781599559476

          When Anne broke off her engagement seven years ago, she thought she'd never see Neil Wentworth again. But when Neil's brother buys the house she grew up in, it seems fate has other plans in store, and Anne is woefully unprepared for the roller coaster of emotions that accompanies Neil's return. Fans of Persuasion will love this fast-paced, modern retelling of Jane Austen's most romantic novel.
I said yes to reviewing this book because even though I have not yet read the Jane Austen classic that this book is based on, I was curious about the Mormon aspect of the book and how the author would modernize it. I know some about Mormon customs and traditions, but it was still interesting to read the book from the perspective of a practicing Mormon and see how this specific religious sect influenced the main character in her daily life.
I am sure other reviews will compare and contrast in detail this book with the original Persuasion, but I will write about this book from the perspective of someone who has not read Persuasion by Jane Austen, though I have read some of her other works and I am a fan.
The book as a whole was an enjoyable romantic read with a bit of suspense and drama thrown in to create conflict. While I was reading some of the situations, I did often wonder how Jane Austen would have written them were she still alive today, such as Lily's jellyfish sting or Anne's stalker. The use of modern technology, such as computers and cell phones, also contributed to the modernization quite obviously.
The characterization that Jamison employs closely resembles Austen's skill, with personality traits that translate across any era, such as the ones' whose main concern was about money and what it can buy. There were the females whose only concern was obtaining a husband, as well as the mother who had little regard for disciplining her children. Matchmakers also abounded and many of the characters were related - either by blood or marriage.
The Mormon influences are easy to pick out, such as Anne's avoidance of alcohol and caffeine, and sometimes these little changes did not blend well with the plot, likely because I did not always understand what the terminology referred to, such as references to a "Fireside." I believe the book would have benefited from more explanation of the Mormon practices woven into the background details.
Ironically, my favorite characters were not the main characters, Anne and Neil. I had more interest in the ones that seemed to have a smaller part, such as Jay, who lost his wife after only 8 months of marriage. Anne's character seemed to fall a bit flat, and even when she was supposed to be in a highly emotional state, such as when she gets angry at Will, I had a hard time believing it. I also would have liked more emotion from Neil, as he always seemed to be too cool and collected for the events that were unfolding.
I did enjoy the book, though, and any fan of Jane Austen would enjoy this modernized tale, as well.

The Cover: I like the simplicity of the cover and the font of the title -- just the cover alone reminds me a bit of Jane Austen.

First Line: "How much should I ask for the chocolate fondue fountain?"
This is one of the more unusual opening lines for a book that I have read, but it's about chocolate, so my interest is peaked!

Favorite Quote: "Romance -- it's one of those things that seems so unimportant, yet, in a way, it is at the center of everything."

Please visit to view the other participating blogs!

*I received this book free of charge from the publisher for review purposes.*

Author Facebook:!/RebeccaHJamison
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...