Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Reread Challenge - March

Nath's ReRead Challenge – March

Last Summer by Theresa Weir

Considering my recent Author Spotlight, it should be no surprise that my March ReRead is a Theresa Weir book. I first read this one back in August 2005 and loved it. I gave it a 5 out of 5. So – how did it stand up almost four years after the first read?

Wonderfully well. Once again I was struck by what a wonderful, timeless writer Theresa Weir is. First written in 1993, sixteen years ago now, this one doesn’t as if that much time has passed at all. Once again, just like the first time I read this one, I ached for Johnny. The phrase ‘the tears of a clown’ really apply to him. He had a tragic childhood but covered it up with bravado and acting the clown. Now a successful actor, he travels back to his home town of Hope, Texas to be the ‘hometown boy makes good’ in their local parade even though he doesn’t really know why. He has some plan of revenge in mind.

Maggie Mayfield is the designated welcoming committee and she is not thrilled with that role. She is one of the few not bowled over by this charismatic yet self-destructive young man. She is the director of a group of children in a local acting group and much to her surprise Johnny Irish agrees to help her. She is alternately attracted and infuriated by him. For his part Johnny is very attracted to her, but truly believes he is not good enough for her and rather then let her see his vulnerabilities, he covers them up in joking around and bad behaviour. He leaves town, returns later, leaves and returns.

I love the poignancy of this story and when I found this one in the ‘library’ debated on whether I should read it again or not. I’d been on quite the Therese Weir reading binge and figured it was time to move on. But I’m glad to say I decided ‘what the heck’ and read it anyway. I loved it once again the second time around. I downgraded it just a tad this time, not because I didn’t love Johnny even more then the first time, but because I was a bit frustrated with Maggie and her dithering hot and cold on Johnny. I do really like her – don’t think I don’t – but I think since I loved Johnny so much, I hated the way she unintentionally hurt him.

Grade 4.5 our of 5

And I mentioned to Nath that I would have another ‘bonus’ book this time ‘round again. And yes – it’s another Theresa Weir book. This one was a new-to-me book though it was published back in 1995, this was the first time I’d read it

Long Night Moon by Theresa Weir

Why this one: I’ve obviously been on a glom of this author’s work

Level of Steam: Warm and Touching

Cover Blurb: To the world, Sara Ivy had it all: a handsome husband, a manicured estate, the kind of ethereal beauty that drew all eyes to her. So when hard-bitten reporter Nash Audubon crashed a party to get an interview, all he expected was another run-in with a bored socialite. Instead, he got the surprise of his life. For Sara Ivy possessed an innocence that had no place in the sophisticated world of Chicago high society. Tempted to learn her deepest secrets, he followed her into the night...and in one dangerous moment discovered the real Sara—sexy, brave, and heartbreakingly defiant. She was ready to end the charade of her marriage to a brutal man, and Nash would move heaven and earth to cherish and protect her—even if it cost him his life....

My Thoughts: I mentioned on the recent Author Spotlight that I was currently reading a book by her that I hadn’t read before – I was on a real Theresa Weir reading fest it seems. I mentioned on that post that this book was breaking my heart and it was. These are both seriously wounded people. Nash Audbon is without question a total and complete mess. After being released from jail for a crime he did commit – but the why will break your heart, he is next level up from a homeless person – in fact he was a homeless person before he was rescued by the owner of a trashy type news tabloid type paper. Nash still lives in his car but at least he cleans up in his office. He decided to get ‘the scoop’ on Sara Ivy, trophy type wife of a businessman and up and coming politician. He is not impressed with her haughty behaviour and he is even less impressed when he writes the article and is beaten up for it. He is determined that rather then let the bully boys get away with it, he will dig up even more dirt on her.

Now this makes him sound like not so loveable a hero – and maybe in some ways he isn’t. But he is a very absorbing hero and I can fully believe why he is so bitter and cynical.

And just as Nash and his tragic past break your heart, so does Sara and her present. She is not at all the haughty woman Nash thinks at first. Instead she is living a nightmare with no hope of escape. It takes Nash a while to figure things out, but once he does, nothing will stop him from rescuing her from her terrifying circumstances.

This is yet another real winner from Theresa Weir. Again I was in awe of how well she drew me into the story and really made me care about her characters. This is a wonderful story of two broken characters who find and heal each other and it was so Very Well Done!

Grade: 4.75 out of 5


Anonymous said...

These sound wonderful, Kristie! I'm glad you enjoyed re-reading them :)

My Blog 2.0 (Dottie) said...

Hi Kristie!

Both books sounded great, I've been hearing a lot of good things about Theresa Weir, so I may have to look up a few of their books!

Thanks for the recommendations!

Dottie :)

Rosie said...

Many times I can tell you that I've read a book, but that's the extent of my recollection unless I pick the book up and page through it. Stuff will usually come back to me.

Then there are books that I remember very clearly and the experience of reading them, LONG NIGHT MOON is one of those. I remember my visceral reaction to that book. It's very well done.

Jace said...

I've never read this author before, and now I'm interested. :) I like poignant stories that break my heart. :D

Zeek said...

I'm a dolt- I've never heard of this author before your blog posts ...

orannia said...

Great review Kristie! All of Theresa Weir's books sounds very....gritty. I'm so looking forward to reading one :)

nath said...

Sigh, I definitively have to look for more books by her. They sound great, Kristie!

Seneca said...

I've never heard of this author. I want to find her now.

ReneeW said...

I just read Last Summer recently and LOVED it too. It went directly to my keeper shelf next to Amazon Lily and Cool Shade. But I have never heard of Long Night Moon. It's definitely going on my list. Thanks for reviewing them.

CindyS said...

Okay, not related to the post but I've noticed the last few weeks that when I click on your blog there is about a 20 second delay. The banner comes up and part of the left side comes up and then it stalls. Wasn't sure if you were aware of that. I have no clue what would cause that but I know the Book Binge ladies had a similar problem there about 6 months ago. I'm in Firefox - maybe see if anyone else is experiencing the same thing.


Seneca said...

Hi Cindy,

I'm on firefox, and I have no issues...

CindyS said...

Yep, today it loaded like a flash!

PeggyP said...

Hi Kristie, just wanted to let you know that I had not heard of Theresa Weir before either. After your previous post I ordered some of her books through paperbackswap - and I just finished Cool Shade. It was really different and I enjoyed it but her writing is hard to categorize, isn't it? Some Kind of Magic came in the mail today and I will be starting it soon.

Thanks for the tip on these books, they are off-beat and that's a good thing!

By the way, I listened to Smooth Talking Stranger last weekend...the audiobook is very, very good.

Kristie (J) said...

Barbara: They really are wonderful. I've read a few books that haven't held up over time - her's not only hold up - I'm enjoying them just as much if not more than the first time around.

Dottie: It's been quite a few years since she wrote romance so it's not surprising that many newer romance readers haven't heard of her. But she really is a good author and I think new romance readers will love her books.

Rosie: I know what you mean. Some of her books I've remembered for years. I might not remember exact details but I do remember the storylines and there are A LOT of books I've read that I can't say the same thing for.

Jace: Then without doubt she is an author you NEED to try *g* 'cause they will break your heart. And what's more - because of that, you don't doubt the HEA. You really do feel that the heroes/heroines are on their way to healing because of the love they have found.

Zeek: *laughing* Many have probably not heard of her before. That's one of the reasons for the reviews and the author spotlight - 'cause I know so many who haven't will really enjoy her books.

Orannia: They are gritty - and not always easy to read - but WELL worth if it if/when you do :-)

Nath: Have you had a chance to read either one of the two you have yet? I'd love to see what you think of them!!

Seneca: I think you can only find her in UBS's or Paperback Swap or some place like that since I doubt any book stores have any in stock.

Cindy: Something else must have been wonky. I'm glad it wasn't the blog 'cause the likelihood of me being able to figure out what it was - or how to fix it is just about nil as I can only to the simplest of things. I can't even figure out how to get all the fonts to work right sometimes *gulp*

PeggyP: They definitely are different aren't they? And I say they are romance because it's hard to call them anything else. And in the end, I think love is what heals. But *laughing* I do know what you mean. It IS hard to categoize. But I'm so glad you enjoyed Cool Shade and are willing to try more by her.
And I am SO looking forward so Smooth Talking Stranger!! Chapters emailed me that they shipped today so hopefully I will have it - and the others by Tuesday.