Saturday, April 3, 2010

Review of "The Cinderella Deal" by Jennifer Crusie

I spent my day doing yardwork, and to relax, all I wanted was a good book. So of course I picked up a Jennifer Crusie book! I believe "The Cinderella Deal" was published some time ago, and it has just be re-released with a new cover. It was also one of the only Jennifer Crusie books I don't own. What can I say, I'm a huge fan. But on to the review.

Disclaimer: I, the reviewer, bought this book on my own. I was not compensated in any way for this review.

From the back of the book: " Daisy Flattery is a free spirit with a soft spot for strays and a weakness for a good story. Why else would she agree to the outrageous charade offered by her buttoned-down workaholic neighbor, Linc Blaise? The history professor needs to have a fiancee in order to capture his dream job, and Daisy is game to play the role. But something funny happens on their way to the altar that changes everything. Now, with the proverbial midnight hour approaching, will Daisy lose her prince, or will opposites not only attract but live happily ever after? "

As I said, I'm a huge fan of Jennifer Crusie, I will, and have, read everything by her - except for her newest release, which I just found out about today and therefore need to go buy. And "The Cinderella Deal" did not disappoint. Maybe it's just that I have become more emotionally involved in things I've read lately, or maybe I've just read some great books lately, but there was a time or two in this book that I about teared up because I was so emotional. But that's what I love about this author and her books. There's humor, which I love to read, but there's also real emotions. And sometimes, you can't help but feel them too.

I was a little worried that the plot was going to run out, since things seemed to be moving so fast - and indeed, a fair amount of time was covered in this book. But I was glad to find that it really worked. Their months together felt like a whirlwind to the reader, and when you think about how the characters are reacting to this huge, new change, you realize that it's all a big whirlwind to them as well.

I loved the characters, and they were comforting. There's a reason I keep coming back to Jennifer Crusie's books - she writes characters that I love, ones I know I can count on to give me the good love story I need. And not just human characters. Dogs show up in several of Jenny Crusie's books, and "The Cinderella Deal" doesn't disappoint in that area, either. Jupiter, a stray that Daisy finds and adopts, helps shape Linc's character and begins his change from stuffed shirt to something human.

I am a little disappointed with the cover though. It's a good, eye catching cover - but having read the book, I assume the dog on the front is meant to depict Jupiter. Well.. considering Jupiter is a one-eyed, stray, mutt, I'm sure his looks are... vastly different. But I guess that doesn't really matter. Covers are there to help sell the book, and I've already bought it. I do enjoy the bright colors on the cover though, I know the main character, Daisy, would really love it. And I think it's a nice touch, when the cover shows a part of the character.

All that said, I'm giving "The Cinderella Deal" by Jennifer Crusie a FIVE out of FIVE. Once again, she didn't disappoint. And I think this book might have to be moved to the top of my "Jenny Crusie Favorites" list. I really suggest anyone in the mood for a good, quick, funny romance should pick up anything from Jennifer Crusie - and especially "The Cinderella Deal."

Check out "The Cinderella Deal" and Happy Reading!
~!~ Morning Glow

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Review of "Tsunami Blue" by Gayle Ann Williams

And I'm back! Finally! For a review of "Tsunami Blue" by Gayle Ann Williams. I was contacted a few weeks ago by Dorchester Publishing to see if I would be willing to review some of their new Urban Fantasy/Paranormal titles. Of course, I said yes - and "Tsunami Blue" was a great first experience!

First off, disclaimer: I received my copy of "Tsunami Blue" from the publisher, Dorchester Publishing. The copy was given to me for review purposes, and I have no received any money or anything else in exchange for a review.

From the back of the book: " With her badass rain boots, her faithful dog, and the ability to predict the monster tsunamis that have reduced the US to a series of islands, Kathryn O'Malley isn't afraid of much. Cut off from all society, she takes to the airwaves as Tsunami Blue, hoping to save something of humanity as the world around her crumbles. But Blue should be afraid - because her message reaches the wrong ears.
Now she's the target of ruthless pirates known as Runners who want to use her special talents for their own profiteering - as son as they can find her. Blue's only shot at survival lies with the naked stranger who washes up on her rocky beach. A man who might just be working for Runners himself. Torn between suspicion and attraction, the two will have to navigate a surging tide of danger and deceit if they hope to stay alive. "

So, as I said, this was definitely a good first experience with Dorchester Publishing. I absolutely loved this book. And I hated that it took me so long to finish it once I started. But I honestly think it would have been too overwhelming if I had tried to read it in one sitting. The story of Blue and Gabriel, and what has happened to the US and humanity, is so powerful, that I'm not sure I would have been able to handle it all at once. The idea behind this book - that tsunamis have ripped through the world, killing countless amounts of people, changing how everyone lives their lives, creating a whole horrifying class of people - Runners, is just so fascinating. And Blue has known so many hardships in her life, it's not a surprise that she has ended up such a hard character - untrusting, and yet so hopeful that she can use her gift to help people, even when so many call her the devil, witch, etc. I loved her characterization, as well as that of Gabriel, who was quite the enigma. Gabriel's character - you just wanted to trust him, for things to work out for him and Blue, even though his ties and his life weren't so reputable.

Speaking of enigma, the only issue I had with "Tsunami Blue" was that I wasn't sure of the characters' ages. I could guess at some of the side characters - the younger members of the group - but for Blue and Gabriel, I was clueless. Maybe their ages were given, and I missed it, but I, for some reason, kept picturing them as much younger than they should be. It wasn't until the end, when Gabriel made mention of a side character's father being his best friend before the waves came, that I realized Gabriel had to be older than what my mind was making him.

I'm a fan of the Anita Blake books by Laurell K. Hamilton (more so of the earlier books than the more recent ones, but..), and I found some parallels between the way Blue acts, her badass attitude, and the character of Anita Blake, at least from the first few novels in the series. She has the drive to stay alive, and people she wants to fight for, and she's willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done. This is an excellent quality, and felt right for Blue's character. And I have to say, I loved Blue's snarky attitude. She never could keep her mouth shut, and I loved her running commentary of life, even in the worst situations.

From the acknowledgements in the beginning of the book, it mentions that "Tsunami Blue" is Gayle Ann Williams' debut novel. I have to say - what an entrance! Everything was so vivid, the characters so real, it was such a wonderful book. I do hope she chooses to write more.

And on to the rating - I have to give "Tsunami Blue" by Gayle Ann Williams a FIVE out of FIVE. I really liked it, I loved the (hopefully) alternate version of the future, and I loved Blue.

I hope you all get to check out "Tsunami Blue" - obviously I'm recommending it to everyone. I thought this was a great read, and I do hope to see more from this author in the future.

Happy Reading! And I hope you're all enjoying some wonderful weather! It's a perfect day to sit outside and read here in Ohio.
~!~ Morning Glow

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

I've been a very bad blogger!!

I have, I have! And it's not like I have no books to review (currently reading "Tsunami Blue" to review for Dorchester Publishing!! So look for that next), I think life just caught up with me. And I was sick all of last week, which mostly meant being curled up in bed, hiding under the blankets.

I have been working since I graduated, but just part-time, and I am actively looking for another job, whether it be full time, or just another part-time job. And since I'm not finding any others (still haven't heard back from some places, so we'll see), I've decided to implement some positive changes in my life. I mean, I have the time, after all.

Don't worry, one of the things on my list is to read more and get more reviews out, and I will! Especially since it's so pretty outside, I can't wait to curl up on the deck with a book and read. Hopefully soon - if not tonight!

I hope you all can forgive me, and for those of you that have continued to stick around - Thank you!! I'll be back with more reviews in no time. And hopefully get them out quicker.

I hope you all have an excellent Wednesday, and as always, happy reading!
~!~ Morning Glow