Friday, August 31, 2007

Recent Reads

Tangled Up In You by Rachel Gibson

Why This One: Rachel Gibson – ah Rachel Gibson. She’s probably my most up and down author. When I love her book, I really, really love it. But when I don’t, it’s such a disappointment. But I get all her books hoping for that thrill I get when I read one of her really really good ones.

Steam Level: Would make a drink nice and hot

Chapters Blurb: Maddie is determined to uncover the untold story about the town’s sordid past—her past. As a child, Maddie lost everything, and now she’s back at the scene of the scandal—a local establishment that’s always belonged to the Hennessys—determined to uncover the truth, and nothing is going to stand in her way. Especially not a black-haired, blue-eyed Hennessy.

Everyone in Truly knows that the Hennessy men are irresistible, and the current owner, Mick, is no exception. His late father was a skirt-chasing heartbreaker who ended up causing disaster for two families. So far, Mick’s managed to keep the ladies in line, but when he claps eyes on Maddie, with her luscious curves and tempting lips, he can’t resist getting tangled up with her.

But Maddie is keeping secrets, not the least of which is her true reason for being in town. And when Mick discovers what‘s really going on, there is going to be a whole lot of trouble in Truly.

My Thoughts. While it’s not quite up there with my favourite Gibson book, See Jane Score, it’s pretty damn close and I did really, really enjoy this one.

It reminded me a bit of After The Night – my favourite Linda Howard, in that both books had the heroine returning to the scene of the crime many years later to try and puzzle out what happened. Both books also featured a somewhat off-kilter sister of the hero. And both featured the heroine’s mother having a thing with the hero’s father. But other than those similarities, the books weren’t the same feel at all.

Mick is adorable. He’s pretty scarred from what happened to his family in his youth but lives in a state of denial. He loves his sister and his nephew and moves back to a place he hated in his youth to take care of them.

And I really liked Maddie. I thought she was a great heroine. She was strong and overcame a terrible childhood. She writes true crime books and while she has been affected by her subject matter, still she has maintained her sense of right and wrong. She knows it’s wrong that she kept something major from Mick, but I could really buy her reasons. The banter between them is very well-written and this is Rachel Gibson at the top of her game.

Grade: 4.5 out of 5

A Reason To Believe by Maureen McKade

Why this one: It’s a Western, I loved the first one and I’ve read a few by the author that I’ve really enjoyed.

Steam Level: Warm but it’s not going to burn your tongue.

Chapters blurb: Lonely and filled with regrets, Dulcie McDaniels struggles to provide a decent life for her daughter. Usually shunned by proper folks, she's suspicious of Rye Forrester, a drifter offering to work for his keep. But after he helps harvest the crop, her feelings toward the handsome stranger turn into a consuming passion. But Rye has his own secrets. When their tragic pasts catch up with them, these two wounded souls must fight for the love that will keep them together for a lifetime.

My thoughts: I loved this one. Sybil told us that Ms. McKade told her it wasn’t A Reason to Live and I agree, it didn’t have the same kind of punch to it that ARTL did, but I enjoyed it quite a bit for it’s own sake.

Dulcie is a very prickly heroine and at times almost a little too prickly. She took a long time to trust Rye, but eventually she let her guard down. She also had certain issues that I’d never really read about before and I thought they were very believable and very well handled by the author.

Rye is one of those ‘oh so wonderful’ tortured heroes. He feels responsible for the dire straights that Dulcie finds herself in and works hard to help her out. What I appreciated is while he didn’t approve of the ‘issue’ that Dulcie had, he never judges or condemns her for it.

I’ve been reading another book, The Stranger, by Elizabeth Lane. It has a very similar storyline but while it’s taking me quite a while to get through – not that it’s bad, I’ve had times where I haven’t been reading or reading something else, I zipped through Reason to Believe in a day and a half.

If I could change anything, it might be to make Dulcie just a tad less prickly and turn up the steam level just a bit. But other than that, this was a fine book and a great addition for Western fans. It's also a good one for those thinking of trying a Wester.

(well all except Cindy because there is a little girl who plays a role and Cindy's not to keen on children in her romance *g*)

Grade: 4.5 out of 5

'til later


CindyS said...

And here I was thinking the first book had a 'secret baby'. I'm thinking I'll have to pass on both of these for now. I do have the McCabe book that everyone loved so that's good.


Wendy said...

Dulcie is definitely a make-or-break heroine. I pride myself on being a fairly open-minded genre reader (well, unless we're talking soul mates :D) and there were a couple of times I was squirming in my seat. But kudos to McKade for not making it easy for the reader. Gotta admire that.

I originally graded it a "B" but bumped it up to an A- because of the chances the author took and the fact that the story "stuck" with me well after I finished it.

Alyssa said...

I'm convinced. I've put these on hold at the library.

Gibson used to be an autobuy author for me, but I haven't loved her latest series as much. I'm interested in seeing how I like this one.

Kristie (J) said...

Alyssa: I'm a couple of days late but I just sent you an email :)
Of her latest series (until this one) I only read Sex, Lies and Online Dating. It was OK - but I liked TUIY way better! And I also recommend ARTB too.

Wendy: I know what you mean about Dulcie. I think the author did take a risk with her and I quite appreciated that. But her issues aside - I could relate to her reasons - she was just a tad prickly and untrusting. But I loved the genre and enjoyed the book enough to eagerly look forward to the next one and seeing all 3 brothers reunited!!

Cindy: Nope - no secret baby in the Gibson book. I don't think you would like the second one, but you shouldn't rule out the first one *g*

C2 said...

I agree about Rachel Gibson's books...I either really like them or they are a complete miss. I liked this one quite a bit - I still like See Jane Score and True Confessions the best, though. :o)

ames said...

I really enjoyed TUIY. Maddie was a great character, and Mick won me over when he was buying stuff for Snowball. LOL

Dev said...

I'll be reading Tangled Up In You soon ~ I've got it on request from the library and should have it Tuesday. I'm really looking forward to it.

Kristie (J) said...

C2: Those are my two favourites too!! Those ones and Truly Madly Yours. And didn't True Confessions take place in Truly Idaho too? I'm thinking it did, but I could be wrong.

Ames: Yea that was cute wasn't it? Have you read See Jane Score yet? Cause if you haven't, its a Real Good Read

Devonna: Welcome back stranger. Good to 'see' you again. *happy grin*. TUIY is a good one. Vintage Gibson.

Kyahgirl said...

See Jane Score is my fave Gibson book but I don't consistently love her books. I'll check this out from the library.

I have started reading Maureen McKade after your recommendations last year and have really enjoyed her Westerns. This book is in my TBR :-)

Kristie (J) said...

Kyahgirl: *clapping hands in delight* I'm so glad you're liking Maureen McKade!! I have all kinds of other great Westerns to recommend too if you liked that one.
And don't you just love Luc in SJS. Jane too is a great character.