Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Keishon's TBR Challenge

For those who don't know, Keishon has issued a challenge to read at least one book a month from the TBR pile. I think many of us have them of varying sizes.
I was hoping to get more than one read for the month of March - but alas, I only managed one this month. Hopefully there will be more in April.

So this month's book is an oldie:
Saint or Sinner by Cheryl St. John.
Harlequin Historical
This one was published in 1995. I had it in one of my many many boxes and uncovered it when I built my library.
Since Lorraine Heath moved to England, for me Cheryl St. John is the reigning queen of the poignant Western. I've loved her books for years and when I first uncovered this one, I thought I'd already read it. But when I went through the TBR pile looking for a book and read the synopsis of this one, I realized that I hadn't.
Double bonus for me - a great book for the challenge and an unread Cheryl St. John book.

Back Blurb: Home from the war, Joshua McBride was determined to put his rakish youth behind him and grab a second chance at a life worth living. Yet how could he convince the oh-so-correct Miss Adelaie Saptleton that his hell-raising days were truly over?
People weren't always what they seemed - Addie knew that for a fact. For her own past held secrets that were best left uncovered. but how could she trust Joshua's claims to be reformed, when he was tempting her to lose her heart?

As expected, I love this one. Joshua was a fantastic hero. After experiencing a near death moment on the battlefield, he comes back to his home town a changed man. We didn't see what the former Joshua was like, but his present incarnation was delightful. A mix of the old rascal and the new and improved version, he set about trying to change the town's opinion of him. I loved the relationship he established with his sister and her physically damaged husband. In trying to win over Addie and the rest of the town, he accepted the challenge Addie offered that was seemingly impossible in his old roguish ways - yet for a much better purpose.
Addie, on the other hand was a bit more challenging to like. Let me tell you, she had a real stick up her butt and was dead set against seeing the good side of Joshua. Since she was fairly new to town, I didn't quite understand her avid resentment of him. Although as we got to know her better and see what she was hiding, she became more likable. And once that proverbial stick was gone, I really liked her and felt her pain.
There wasn't a lot of action in this book - but that was OK. That's not the kind she writes. It was just a very enjoyable, very soothing very poignant read about second chances that made me smile when I closed the back cover.
I love Ms. St. John's latest books and I love her older books. My advice? Give this author a try and search in the UBS's for her older works - it will be worth it!

Grade: 4 out of 5


Anonymous said...

I like Cheryl St John as a rule, and I haven't read this one. Hmmm... you are a bad bad influence, woman--yet another book for the amazon wish list.

I really need to win the lottery soon...

Wendy said...

Pretty sure I got this one lying around at home, along with several of St. John's older backlist titles. *sigh* One of these days I'll get to it.....

Kwana said...

I love this challenge idea. I really need to get my TBR pile down. Thanks for the review.

Kristie (J) said...

Azteclady: well - this one is really old so you could pick it up for a song at a UBS - if you can find one. And after being a romance reader for nigh on 15 years or more now - I have a lot of love to share *g*

Wendy: I know you love her books too. I think this will be another addition to the ones you've already read and enjoyed.

Kwana: You're welcome. At the risk of doing math - something I avoid like the plague - my buying of books is far outpacing my reading of them. At some point I must stop buying and give myself a chance to catch up. But it's just so dang hard to do that!

Jace said...

I've never read any of hers but I've seen some of her older western-like books at the UBS. I'm going to give her a try. ;) Oh, just one ... I'm pretty sure it won't topple the TBR hill. :D

Unknown said...

I've been meaning to try her. Thanks for the review, Kristie!