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
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.