Monday, December 20, 2010

Recent Read - and update

Eyes of Silver, Eyes of Gold by Ellen O'Connell

Genre: Western

Why this one:
I read a thread on it at All About Romance and it sounded interesting. They were highly recommending it; it was a western and I love westerns so it was a given.....

Steam Level: Starts off cool and slowly comes to a full rolling boil

Blurb: Eyes of Silver, Eyes of Gold is a story of romance and family conflicts set in Colorado in 1885. Anne Wells has embarrassed her rigidly proper family since she was a child with occasional but grievous lapses from ladylike behavior. They blame those lapses for the disgraceful fact that she is a spinster at 28. Cord Bennett, the son of his father's second marriage to a Cheyenne woman, is more than an embarrassment to his well-to-do family of ranchers and lawyers - they are ashamed and afraid of their black sheep. When Anne and Cord are found alone together, her father's fury leads to violence. Cord's family accepts that the fault is his. Can Anne and Cord use the freedom of being condemned for sins they didn't commit to make a life together? Or will their disapproving, interfering families tear them apart?

My Thoughts: Wow!! Just Wow!! I just got this one yesterday. My Kobo was broken and I finally did something about it and called tech support. They were able to talk me through reloading all my books back onto the Kobo and as a well-deserved reward, I decided to order some new e-books. Although most of the posts on the thread at AAR mentioned that it was available either through Kindle (which I don't have) or pb, I decided to check out the author's website and discovered it was available at Smashwords for a Very Reasonable Price. Since my Kobo was working again and I was looking for books, I couldn't download it fast enough!

I started reading around 2:30-3:00 ish and couldn't go to bed until I read the whole book. I finally finished at 1:06 am. Then I couldn't sleep - ack! I think the people at Wendy's substituted a regular coffee for the decaf I ordered. See, I couldn't take time away from reading to make supper so I went through the drive through - not to mention I love their new fries - but I'm getting off topic. So while trying to fall asleep, I kept going over this book in my head, trying to think of how to put down in words how much I loved it and how much it moved me.

It's been a while since I've loved a heroine as much as I love Anne Wells. I think I have a girl crush on her - in a strictly platonic way of course. I love how well written she is. She's open and honest and brave in such a refreshing way. And what I especially loved was how fiercely protective she is of the hero, Cord Bennett, against anyone who she thought was wronging him, including his rather thickheaded brothers. There isn't anyone she won't take on to protect him. There were so many instances when there could have been frustrating misunderstandings, but instead Anne meets the issues head on and handles them directly so there are no festering resentments.

And as much as I love Anne, I love Cord just as much. Although quite reticent at first due to the prejudice he has experienced most of his life, he's more accepting of it and not the bitter kind of hero he could so easily have been. He is matter of fact about his life and while it is a lonely one, he doesn't really expect anything different. That is until Anne comes into his life. They knew each other briefly as children and then their paths cross again when Anne stumbles across Cords farm when trying to run away from a forced marriage. Her father catches her and in order to 'punish' her for her obstinacy, he forces the two of them to marry, and then has his henchman almost beat Cord to death. But Anne stays and nurses Cord back to health and after discussing the situation matter-of-factly, they decide to remain married. Cord is convinced it will only be for a short while; that Anne is too good for the likes of him. But he doesn't count on her sense of honour and her growing love for Cord, and his for her.

This is a great story of two lonely people brought together and discovering they are perfect for each other. Cord has a rather dry sense of humour that I really enjoyed and as mentioned earlier, Anne is ferocious in her defense of Cord. As their love builds, so do the love scenes which makes them even more a vital part of the story. Anne and Cord are friends first so there is not a doubt that this is a couple that will last.

While Anne's father for the longest time seems to be a Very Evil almost cartoonish villain, the author gives an explanation towards the end that makes very good sense. And I quite enjoyed Cord's two older half brothers, Frank and Ephraim. Time after time they misjudged Cord, thinking him a wild man in some of his actions. But instead he had very good reason for all the violence. He just couldn't have been bothered trying to explain himself to his brothers. His attitude makes for some delightful scenes that had me smiling.

{I'm having to go through this and make sure everything in this review is in the current tense as I plan on going back and reading this book again soon, very soon, slower this time so as to savour it the way it deserves to be savoured}.

The only thing keeping this from being a perfect 5 out of 5 is a very small thing that bothered me but probably wouldn't bother most readers. When referring to some of the towns people who let prejudice and anger rule their actions, the author referred to them as 'haters'. This is very much a 2010 expression and took me out of the old west where I doubt this expression would have been used. And since this word and expression just drives me crazy, I wish the author had used another expression. But that is a very, very small niggle in what is almost a perfect book. There was a certain.... distance is the only word I can think of in the first part of the book, a slight failure to connect with the characters. But very soon the author hit her stride and I felt as if I was right along with them, taking the journey of their love story with them.

Grade: 4.975 out of 5

This one gets a very well deserved two thumbs up. At the price it's offered at, and if one has an ereader device, whatever you do, don't miss this heartwarming Western. It's a perfect example of why I love this genre.


And in other news - OS has left the building!!! He moved out on the weekend. I almost feel bad about feeling so giddy that he's gone - but I'm resisting that guilty feeling and just wallowing in the giddiness. I can set the temperature at 18 degrees celcius and know it will stay at that temperature. I can go out anytime I want without having to ask him to move his car out of the way. I can go into the bathroom now and look into the sink and not see little whisker hairs. There is no door at the bottom of the stairs now. I don't think he's put my library back - I'll give him a couple of weeks to make himself at home before I start nagging - but nag I will if he doesn't get his butt back here and rebuild my library.

And in even bigger and better news, YS (youngest son) or - let's not hide it Ryan (who has posted the news all over his Facebook page) proposed to his girlfriend last week. AND SHE SAID YES. I'm finally going to be getting that daughter I've been wanting. I told her tonight I've been waiting 30 years for her. They've set the date for October 8/2011 so I'm sure I'll be blogging about it lots in the coming months. I really like her. She asked me to go wedding dress shopping with her and her mom and dad this past weekend. I thought that was so sweet of her to include me. Yep - I'm going to be a mama-in-law and I'm thrilled at the thought


Lori said...

Kristie! Congratulations! How wonderful for you. On OS moving out but especially on Ryan's engagement. So happy for you.

ReneeW said...

Woohoo! Congrats on the engagement! Wedding dress shopping ...yes! I'm thrilled for you. Also, I'm excited to see your rave review for EoS,EoG. It's been on my TBB list for a while but haven't actually found it yet. Also, congrats on OS moving out. Wow, you're on a roll today. :)

Wendy said...

So much happy news in this post! OS moving out, YS getting married, AND an enjoyable western romance! Oh happy day!

Lynette said...

I am so happy that things are going so well for you, but YOU have to stop it with the book reviews. It's Christmas time and my money is short! LOL!

Janice said...

Great news about both sons! :-)

azteclady said...

In a day that started bad and kept just rolling downhill, all these wonderful news have made me smile and smile--congratulations, soon-to-be mama-in-law Kristie! *hug*

Leslie said...

Congrats on your new status as mama-in-law to be! And congrats to Ryan & his bride-to-be. :)

I'm getting Eyes of Silver, Eyes of Gold and Sing My Name. Are you planning to read Sing My Name?

Really looking forward to reading both!

nath said...

Woohoo, Kristie!! Congratulations to you for getting a DIL that you love and to your son :) Wow, he moves fast!! I guess when you know she is the one, you do :)

How did the wedding dress shopping go? Do you get along well with her family? ;)

And I'm glad your Kobo is back to shape! Was it hard? Was the tech support good? :)

Glad you read such a good book. Sounds pretty good actually... I'm curious now :)

farmwifetwo said...

Congrats on OS and YS. I read that you'd fixed the kobo?? Been on and off with kiddies underfoot so much these last few weeks.

I just did the upgrade of the machine... locked it all down... customer service - USELESS - "we'll email you later"... WT?? I did a factory reset again, yet another reload and....

I'm thinking it's time for a kindle after Xmas... I'm NOT happy... Ticks me off more b/c I really do like the machine.

Blodeuedd said...

Congrats :D I am sure they will be very happy together. And so nice of her to include you in the wedding dress shopping

Kristie (J) said...

Leslie - I'm reading Sing My Name now - and LOVING it too!! You are in for SUCH a treat with these books. I can't believe the author doesn't have a contract with a big name publisher.

AL: I'm thrilled for Ryan. All a mama bear really wants is for her cubs to be happy and he is just so happy now. And the fact that I really like her and it seems to be vice versa is icing on the cake.

Janice: Heh, heh, heh. Totally different news on both of them - but yep - both good.

Lynette: *big grin* But this one is only $2.99 either as a Kindle or Smashwords. And let's face it - we do need our small rewards during this time of year. A great book is so much better than say a box of chocolates - even if we were to know what we were getting!

Wendy: Being a fellow Western lover, you have to know I'm going to hound you until you read this one too ;) Only $2.99....... And I know you have an ereader.......

Renee: I am indeed!! And not only that good news - I'm walking without a cane now too - leaving both hands free. And you simply must get EoS,EoG. It really is THAT good.

Lori: I was beginning to feel odd. All the people I know my age have kids that are married and a lot of them have grandchildren. And there I was - daughter in lawless and grandchildless. So soon I'll be like many of my contemporaries. And he is wedding such a nice person.

Kristie (J) said...

Nath: She narrowed it down to two dresses - both gorgeous. She was going to have a friend come and look at them as she tries them on again.
And her parents seem very nice. I do have a bit of a dilemma though. I can't remember their names!!! Yikes!! And I'm going there for Christmas. I don't want to tell Ryan that I forget their names so I think I'll get sister Lisa to call Ryan to ask. It took me a few hours to come up with that solution.

Farmwifetwo - they weren't to helpful at the store, but over the phone, the tech help was wonderful!! Somehow when I gave her my email address, she was able to recalibrate it or something and all I had to do was load the books all back on again. I think she was just as thrilled as I was when it worked! I think in a lot of cases it's luck of the draw as to who you get on the other end - and I lucked out. I wasn't too scared or anything.

Blodeuedd: It WAS very nice of her to ask me!! I was sick as a dog that night and really paid for it the next day when I could barely get out of bed being so sick, but it was worth it. And as I said - I couldn't imagine Ryan asking me to go with him to try on tuxes - and even if he did, it wouldn't have been nearly as exciting *g*

CindyS said...

Fantastic news! Lots of congrats for OS moving out, YS getting engaged!! and you without a cane!! Sometimes those boys take a while to settle down ;)

And what everyone else said - I can't buy books right now! But I need to start making a list - this one sounds great.


Hilcia said...

Kristie, thanks for the review I'll look this book up. But, most of all CONGRATULATIONS! First, on OS moving out... hope you get your library back soon. ;P AND, on Ryan's engagement, enjoy that daughter. :)

orannia said...

Congrats! Your soon-to-be DIL sounds lovely! And YAH for having your space back :) How are the cats taking it?

Ohhh, and I love the sound of Eyes of Silver, Eyes of Gold. Let's see, it's a Western, has what sounds like a marriage of convience (a favourite trope) and the hero is half Native American. My library doesn't have it, so I'm thinking of suggesting it or lurking around AllRomance or Fictionwise (and hoping when it appears I don't get hit by the dreaded geographical restrictions!)

Christine said...

Oh how exciting!!! Congratulations, Kristie! :)