Wednesday, January 18, 2012

TBR Challenge for January - The Series Book

I haven’t done one of these for a couple of years. I find as soon as I sign up, I have no desire to read a book from that particular pool of books. But I thought I’d give Wendy, our SuperLibrarian’s challenge a try. See, when it comes to a theme I know she has a book in that I might have read and loved, I might make a suggestion. Plus she’s been my ‘roomie’ at RWA a number of times so I’m doing it for my ‘roomie’.

Much to my great surprise and astonishment, most of the books I read these days are eBooks. I don’t have as great a TBR electronic pile, but I do have some. This month’s challenge, a series book, has been sitting on my IPad for over a month and may have sat there longer if not for this challenge

All They Need by Sarah Mayberry

Blurb: After all Melanie Porter has been through recently, it's time to put her dreams first. And she starts by opening a vacation retreat outside of Melbourne. As she considers her next step, the unexpected happens. One of her guests -- a friend -- the very attractive Flynn Randall makes it clear he's in pursuit.

Mel is definitely tempted. Who wouldn't be?

But Flynn comes with strings that could derail her plans. First, he's part of the world she eagerly left behind. Second, he's ready for a commitment, while she's still embracing life on her own.

A resolution seems impossible until Flynn proves that she's still in the driver's seat!

My Thoughts: Ever since I discovered the Harlequin SuperRomance line not all that long ago really, Sarah Mayberry is an author I snatch up as soon as I see her newest release. Some are good and some are incredibly wonderfully good. This book for me, falls somewhere in between.

I found Melanie to be a very unusual heroine. She’s taller than normal, and bigger than life though her ex-husband has tried his very best to drum that out of her. It was a very emotionally abusive relationship and understandably Melanie is very wary of getting into another one with Flynn so shortly after getting out of it. She has taken her money and opened a B&B. While she’s met Flynn a few times in the past and he has certainly noticed and been attracted to her, Melanie doesn’t know him that well. At the beginning of the book, Flynn stays at her B&B with his girlfriend at the time. But he realizes he admires and is developing deep feelings for Melanie so breaks with his girlfriend in a real emotional scene.

As I said, Melanie is very gun shy about getting involved with Flynn, and then when they do begin a relationship, she is most reluctant to let it progress further. But Flynn is the definition of patience and understanding and doesn’t pressure her at all.

And Flynn – what a hero. He’s almost too good to be true. He is dealing with his fathers advancing Alzheimer’s, a wonderfully written, realistic side line story, and gives up his own business to take on his fathers company. His feelings and admiration for Melanie keep growing and although he finds it difficult not to push her, he manages not to. Instead he allows her to make her own choices in her own time, not even sure she will take the relationship the distance he wants it to go. I really appreciated that about him.

This is not my very favourite Sarah Mayberry book, but it is up there in top percentile of them. I’m glad this challenge pushed me to read this book sooner than I might otherwise have gotten around to reading.

Grade: 4.5 out of 5


As Wendy said on Twitter last night, this TBR challenge was planned before the black out of the WWW by many sites in protest of the proposed SOPA/PIPA bill that's in Congress now. I don't claim to understand a lot about it and as it's a bill proposed in the US, there's not a lot I can do anyway. But I stand in support of those who are.

I'm as much against piracy as anyone. I ache for authors whose works have been pirated and put up on sites for people to steal. It's an outrage to me that all the talent and effort and love they have put into their writing is being reduced to nothing so someone somewhere can get something for free.
I cringe whenever anyone tells me about movies they've watched on line before they are officially 'out' on video (or DVD or BlueRay any more). I have gotten into serious arguments with my oldest son over the fact it's not the George Clooney's and Meryl Streeps who are being ripped off - it's the small guys you never hear about that contribute to the making of a movie.

But from what I can understand, SOPA/PIPA is NOT the way to try and combat this. Instead it takes even more away from our freedom. So though I am posting this today, my heart is also with those who have gone black.


And while I'm at it - an update on the cats. Zina - the attack cat - has gone back to being her normal timid self. The Little Shit aka Cally the Tortoise Shell Cat is doing her business outside so that's not an issue - and if she doesn't well, I really do need to get them each their own litter boxes.


nath said...

Hmmm, it does sound like this one is really good :) Me too, I really like the SuperRomance line from Harlequin :) I think it's definitively one of the better ones :)

I find Ms Mayberry's characters are always very complex and layered. Definitively her forte.

Well from what I understand, the reason why people are against SOPA and PIPA is because of censorship. It'll be interesting for us to follow the debate as Canada plans to try applying the same legislation. Although if it doesn't go through in the US, I doubt it'll go through here.

Kristie (J) said...

I think her books in the Superronce line are just a little bit better then the other lines. Just a touch. And one of the reason I enjoy them is many are set in Australia, a place I long to visit.

And it's kind of a helpless feeling, seeing what's going on south of the border and having no control over what could really affect us.

Christine said...

Hi Kristie!
I decided to give this challenge a try, too. I've avoided it in the past because I don't do well with a reading or reviewing deadline, but I'm going to try hard to stick to it this year because I know it will encourage me to connect with so many of my original blogging buddies on the list of participants. Like YOU! :)

Glad to see you really enjoyed this one. I don't usually gravitate to category romances, but still.. would you believe I have never read any of Sarah Mayberry's books?!

Kristie (J) said...

Christine, I don't do good on them but I'll see how far I can go - so far, so good *g*. And if it gets bloggers out and blogging, that's a good thing. I saw on Twitter that Tara is playing.

And I do like Sarah Mayberry. But you probably gathered that from the review :-)

Hilcia said...

KristieJ, I enjoyed this book as well. I love Mayberry's Blazes but I like the books she's written for the SupeRomance line so far. She tackles some serious subjects and does a pretty good job of handling them in a short format.

I've been so busy and out of touch that I'm totally out of the loop when it goes to "going black!" Thanks for posting about that.

PS: I totally empathize with you on not wanting to read something once you commit to a Challenge. I always think it's because I'm contrary... I'm glad I'm not the only one. :)

Kristie (J) said...

She does take on some tough themes doesn't she? And I love the SuperRomance line. I haven't tried that many different authors yet though I've got some ideas from this months challenge and at least one is a SuperRomance.

I'm not to clear about this SOPA but enough to gather it will through out about 100 babies with the bath water

sula said...

hey Kristie! Good for you for taking on the challenge. Me, I can barely keep up with my once-a-year blog, let alone life in general, so no challenges at present. lol. But I do enjoy reading the reviews and picking up tips for potential books to find at the library. :)

As for the SOPA/PIPA debacle, I think that this blog posting lays it out more succinctly and clearly than any I've seen. It's mind-bendingly awful and will essentially lead to mega-corporations being able to stifle not only free speech but bully and menace small businesses, wee blogs like ours, and basically anyone they want. Chilling.

Kristie (J) said...

Sula - I'm just so glad to see you 'out and about'. And I haven't done a challenge for a few years now so I don't know how good it will go. Next months doesn't look to hard either.

And we and the rest of the world can only hope that the US government doesn't take away more rights. They've already taken away so many it's scary, but now it's beginning to affect other countries too. I think the idea of trying to stem online pirating is very much needed - but not this way!

Wendy said...

I purposely went with broader themes this year (even though they are always optional!) - thinking it would be better to not "pigeon-hole" readers into one kind of book every month. Time will tell though.

Sounds like SOPA/PIPA is pretty much dead in the water now. Democracy in action - a lot of folks contacted their representatives and senators during the protest :)