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.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Re-Read Challenge: Banner O'Brien by Linda Lael Miller



Banner O'Brien by Linda Lael Miller
Tapestry Books Copyright 1984

The first Linda Lael Miller books I read were from the used bookstore. My boys were small, my book budget even smaller as I was a SAHM. Frankly, I bought the Tapestry line because the books were older and less expensive than many books even in the UBS. Did you see the price? Only $2.95 I think I was paying something like 25% of cover price and less when I had books to trade.

Anyway, I fell in love with the Corbin family. BANNER O'BRIEN is the first book and is the story about Adam Corbin and Banner O'Brien both doctors in Washington territory in the late 1880s.

This month I didn't chose the book because it was on my mind and wouldn't leave me alone like last month's selection, LETTERS TO KELLY. This time I was looking at my bookshelves and couldn't make up my mind. In fact, I was favoring reading IGUANA BAY by Theresa Weir when, by happenstance, my eyes wandered to this book. I literally shrugged to myself and picked it up.

It's been eons since I've read this but I certainly remember how much I enjoyed it that first time. Vividly.

However, this time the reading experience was a bit different. I noticed right off that there wasn't much character development or time passing before the characters declared they were in love. Oh, not to each other, but nonetheless they each revealed they were in love by around page 60. I remember wondering what the rest of the pages were going to be filled with if there wasn't any more conflict or tension than that. I have no recollection of this bothering me when I read this before, but it sort of did this time around.

As it turns out the book has plenty of conflict, maybe too much for one book to handle. However, Ms. Miller does start a story arch in this book that will continue through the other books in the series.

You could certainly do worse than to read this or any of the other books in the series especially if you are like me and enjoy reading about this tumultuous and exciting time of change and growth in our country's history. One thing I did recall while reading and being re-introduced to the Corbin family, my favorite book of the series was CORBIN'S FANCY. So who knows, it might be my March re-read.

My final grade = C+

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13 Comments:

Blogger lisabea said...

We must lead parallel lives. I bought this, and the others, in a UBS in Knoxville....for about 50 cent. It was so wonderful to buy and trade books back then. I remember digging these, but they were a little vapid and very dramatic. Wow this brings back memories. I think BG was about 1 or 2.

I liked the preacher one, as I recall, but wasn't there a hot air balloon ride in it?

Nicely done.

5:51 AM PST  
Blogger Rosie said...

Lb, the reason I remember reading these was because they were explicit. I remembered Adam as strong and swoon worthy. Now I read it and he's sort of a bully. I didn't want to say too much and give the story away, but BB putting up with Adam after her first marriage and surviving medical school at that time in history, well didn't jive.

The hot air balloon is in CORBIN'S FANCY. Remember Fancy? She was the magician? That was my fave of the 4 books.

Kevin Corbin is the reverend brother and his book is MEMORY'S EMBRACE.

And no...I didn't remember all that. The books are on a shelf next to the desk.

6:40 AM PST  
Blogger Kristie (J) said...

Isn't it interesting to go back to books we read when we were first starting out as romance readers and see how our tastes have changed and grown? I haven't read the Corbin books by her but I did read some of her other very early books and really liked them at the time. I think it was the explicitness back then that attracted us to them more then character development and being shown - not told.
I know I can't read Garwood anymore and I haven't attempted a reread of Jude Devereaux but I don't think I'd even be able to finish one of her books these days.

6:56 AM PST  
Blogger Rosie said...

Kristie, you know maybe re-reading some of them will help me to clear them from my shelves cuz then they won't be such keepers???

Jude Deveraux's BLACK LYON? Loved it, and KNIGHT IN SHINING ARMOR. Who knows now.

Garwood? I adored her historicals.

7:03 AM PST  
Blogger Wendy said...

The first romance novel I ever read was from the Tapestry line - those covers are a trip!

You know, I've never read LLM. I know. Shocking considering my hopeless devotion to the western. I have her last historical western around here somewhere....The Rustler...and I think I have one of her romantic suspense titles buried somewhere as well.....

9:27 AM PST  
Blogger Zeek said...

I've tried LLM once or twice but never could get into her books. I was older when I read them, and a well-seasoned romance reader by then, perhaps that's why ...

1:04 PM PST  
Blogger Tracy said...

Good review Rosie. I haven't read this author so know nothing about her. I'll have to see what you say about her other books.

1:21 PM PST  
Blogger Rosie said...

Wendy, I think LLM is as well know as she is because of when she started. I loved that she wrote about desire and reminded me that it was just invented in the 20th century. Unfortunately she's one of those authors that aren't an autobuy for me any more.

Zeek, I absolutely think your are onto something there in your theory. I also think some authors had more impact because of what they wrote and when they wrote it...sort of the 'write author at just the right time'type of thing.

Tracy, I think I 'might' read CORBIN'S FANCY, but right now I'm not sure. This re-read challenge is more challenging than I anticipated...same old story...so many books, so little time.

3:28 PM PST  
Blogger lisabea said...

Rosie~Yup. I recall that they were 'spicy'. That's what the UBS lady used to say.

These books take place in the pacific northwest, right? Didn't she also have a few lumberjack..or mining camp ones.

The last one was My Darling Melissa, right? And they took that fancy Pullman car across the country?

Knight In Shining Armor.LOVED that one, but not so much for character development. I just thought it was clever and fun.

I should have done this challenge, but I tossed my books. Gave them away, some were lost in those basement floods...wah.

7:46 AM PST  
Blogger nath said...

Great review, Rosie :D

And this is a fine example of the whole point of the re-read challenge :) to see if keepers are still keepers :D I think that in this case, your tastes have changed.

It's also unfortunate, but I think that category romances are the ones that will have the most difficult withstanding time and changes of taste.

Great review, although I'm not a fan of LLM.

9:03 AM PST  
Blogger Rosie said...

Lb, yep, you got the right one, pullman car and all.

Nath, yes it has me rethinking everything. What to do, what to do!

10:13 AM PST  
Blogger Lori said...

I love LLM!! I'm re-reading some of her old titles now, too - the Springwater series and Two Brothers books have been rereleased. They definitely don't have the depth with which she currently writes, but I think it's always interesting to see an author grow, too. I can definitely see more of her in Two Brothers than in the Springwater series. It's a little sweet for my taste. (both were originally released in 1998, and I love seeing the 90's hair on her author pic, LOL!)

I never read the Corbin series, though. I think it's her only series I haven't read.

1:31 PM PST  
Blogger Rosie said...

Lori, the Corbin books and the Orphan train books were my fave LLM's. Did you read the Orphan train books?

3:12 PM PST  

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