A big family, a reading addiction, and the occasional celebrity scandal are the ingredients of life that create one woman's opinion on just about everything.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Talk about books...

This is actually a post I started a week ago before I was felled by whatever it was that felled me. Anyway, I wanted to tell you about a couple of good books I read.

Beau Crusoe by Carla Kelly. This is from my tbr and I guess I could have written a review and saved it for next month's TBR Day, but it just didn't seem like the right thing to do.

First of all there's still a whole month before the next TBR Day. Keishon's challenge really has me on a roll reading some older stuff. Also, I figure it's incentive to keep things going if I have to read another book from the tower of tubs that is my tbr. How's that for some right thinking, huh?

Secondly, and more importantly, I really enjoyed the book and I love sharing that sort of news. Why I waited to read this gem I don't know. I remember buying the book, my first Carla Kelley, because there was a lot of buzz about it when it came out.

Our hero James Trevenen was stranded on an island for seven years after a storm shipwrecks the vessel he serves on. Desperately lonely, James studies crabs on the island and writes a treatise of sorts about them. James has come to London to receive a special medal and recognition for his scientific studies and observations.

James ends up staying at the family home of Susannah Park a widow with a young son. Susannah's father has been asked by a family friend to have James stay with them a couple of weeks before the ceremony so he won't have to stay alone in a hotel in London.

The meeting of this tender, intelligent, lonely man who has gone through this incredible experience and the isolated, lonely and devoted Susannah is a wonderful tale about regular people. While they suffer from the worries and moral strictures of the times, these aren't the titled and super wealthy.

I enjoyed the book very much for the subtle and skillful way Ms. Kelley reveals that there's much more to know about what happened to James on the island as there is to Susannah's reason for isolated servitude on her family's estate.

This is a good story told well with a lot of character and charm. Needless to say I'm going to start looking for Ms. Kelley's back list.

The second book I devoured read, which I won recently from the awesome chicks over at BOOK BINGE, is SEALed with a Kiss by Mary Margret Daughtridge. I have to admit I was ready to buy this book after reading Holly's review. As you might imagine winning a copy was pretty freaking cool.

This book also has exceptionally well drawn characters. Yes, it is a book with a Navy SEAL as the hero. I hope that won't stop you from reading it. However, Ms. Daughtridge takes pains throughout the book to draw a realistic picture of the life of a Navy SEAL and more importantly the life of the families of a Navy SEAL. Ms. Daughtridge points out the drawbacks amidst the glamorous misconceptions.

Jax Graham's ex-wife dies unexpectedly leaving Jax with the dilemma of how to care for his young son. Family therapist Pickett Sessums happens on father and son while they are vacationing at the beach.

This isn't a story about a manly alpha hero rescuing the damsel in distress. In fact it's pretty much the opposite. Pickett's experience as a family therapist is helping Jax reconnect with his son. Once again we have two regular people who have problems just like the rest of us. Upon meeting they strike sparks but also find solace, support and help from one another.

It was refreshing to have two characters satisfied with their lives before they meet each other. A pivotal plot point turns on how Jax and Pickett could manage to make a life together work without either one of them having to give up the life and career they love.

For those of you groaning about the kids in both of these books let me just say that in neither one of the books are the kids an annoyance or obstruction to the story. Both little boys are realistically written.

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OpenID gabriellel66 said...

This is nothing to do with books--I'm trip-planning. Aren't you along Route 66? If so, I'm dropping by mid-July!

1:39 AM PDT  
Blogger nath said...

I have Beau Crusoe in my TBR pile too... I should probably read it :D it's kind of fun to see how Keishon's challenge is making us really read from our TBR mountain :) (well that, combined with the fact that not many good books are coming out this month).

I'm not annoyed with kids... I just want to know if Jax still loves his wife... but now, I just re-read... and see ex-wife... so I guess not :P

4:13 AM PDT  
Blogger lisabea said...

I like kids in some of my stories. As long as it's not in a Lora Leigh story or something of that nature. You said a couple of things I really liked: regular people, lonely/tender man (scientist-ish) and Navy Seal ::grins::. I'm such a Seal/Cop story fan.

I never do these challenges! Partly cuz I'm challenged enough, surely, and partly because I'm on a roll in other areas.

5:09 AM PDT  
Blogger Rosie said...

Gabrielle, *nodding head* Yes, I do live along Route 66. Email me! RnG1180@aol.com.

Nath, I don't know why I didn't read Beau Crusoe at the time it came out. Maybe there were a lot of books distracting me that month. I really enjoyed it though.

I feel the same as you about Keishon's challenge AND about the month of April. :-)

lisabea, sometimes kids bug me because they aren't well written or portrayed. Both of these books have a little boy who is age appropriate and not a distraction to the story.

BTW, this is my first challenge because my attention span has always been too short...oh look... SHINY....

6:45 AM PDT  
Blogger ames said...

Keishon's challenge is good that way. I'm just zipping through my tbr pile lately. Of course I should so some reviews too....LOL

I'm glad you liked Beau Crusoe because I bought that one too due to all the blogger buzz. And you know how that turns out sometimes. hehe

p.s. Are the antibiotics working?

9:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Rosie said...

Ames, you know that scene in SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE when Gywneth Paltrow flings her arms wide and exclaims, "Tis a new day nurse!" That's how well the antibiotics are working. My voice is still a little hoarse and I still have a cough, but man, oh man, do I feel so much better.

Oh, and BEAU CRUSOE is a quietly good book. It's not splashy, but it's got depth.

7:41 PM PDT  
Blogger ames said...

LOL Rosie! That's good they're working then.

I looove Shakespeare in Love. Such a good movie.

6:57 AM PDT  

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