Fiction, Keels-Nadine, Romantic Fiction

#991 Love Unfeigned by Nadine C. Keels

Love Unfeigned by Nadine C. KeelsLove Unfeigned by Nadine C. Keels

Lorraine was pretty good at hand ball when she was younger. Her brother Earl, who was a good brother, invited her to play hand ball with the older kids. One of those kids was Isaiah James. Lorraine kicked his butt at hand ball, but left with a friend. Isaiah began hanging out around Earl and Lorraine quite often. He even went to church with them on Sundays. As their middle school years progressed, Isaiah revealed to Lorraine that he liked her, like-liked her. He asked if she could be his–if they could be a thing. For a while, they were, but home trouble took Isaiah away from Lorraine and she didn’t see very much of Isaiah for a while.

Time passed and each went their way, but both remembered the other. One day, Lorraine heard her name shouted and she was surprised to see a familiar face that she had not seen in a while. It was Isaiah and they had a lot of catching up to do, but Lorraine also needed explanations. What had happened to them?

What I liked

Nadine’s stories are sweet. If you’re the kind of person who likes to read sweet love stories without all the heaving bosoms and Fabios, Nadine’s books are a good choice. I have found the characters in Nadine’s books to be respectful and good examples of how people should treat each other. Of course everyone screws up from time to time, but they do try their best to make it up.

I also like that Nadine has a little religion in this book, but it’s not over powering. I feel like Lorraine has a religious belief, but shows it through action, in her behavior and treatment of other human beings. If you’ve read any Janette Oke or Beverly Lewis, the religion in those sweet romance stories is much more prevalent.

What I didn’t like

Lorraine has suffered from a traumatic experience because someone else thought they had a right to her. They saw themselves as entitled enough to expect Lorraine to do the things they said, but also disregard Lorraine’s ownership over herself. I hate that Lorraine suffered because of this. I also hate that there are still a whole lot of people like that out in the world. Where do people get off being this entitled?

Overall

Aw…so sweet.

Weigh In

What kind of romance novels do you prefer?

What do you think makes people entitled enough to think they have a right to another human being?

#991 Love Unfeigned by Nadine C. Keels was originally published on One-elevenbooks

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Brooks-Carelin, Family dynamics, Fiction, Romantic Fiction, Social Commentary

#979 One Hundred Days of Rain by Carellin Brooks

One Hundred Days of Rain by Carellin BrooksOne Hundred Days of Rain by Carellin Brooks

The main character of this book is going through a tough time and a lot of rain. It seems to rain endlessly. There also seem to be endless problems that have to be fixed. She is getting divorced from her wife, but things aren’t going so well. There are accusations. There are custody fights. There are bad apartments. There are disagreements with the court, and lawyers, and the son’s father and each day, it rains.

What I liked

I like the constancy of the rain in this book. It’s really the only constant in the main character’s life during this period. A whole bunch of things are changing, but the rain is constant and that’s kind of a comfort to know that at least the rain is the same.

What I didn’t like

So the main character in this book has a wife, but she also has a lover, and there’s also the child’s father somewhere in the mess of this whole thing. The lover has been around for like nine years. I don’t know how long the marriage was. Maybe, just maybe, all of this mess is why the divorce is happening. The main character isn’t the one wanting to get divorced, from what I gather, but when you have a wife and a lover on the side and it doesn’t seem to matter that you have the lover, why would you want to get divorced? That’s not how I feel about the situation, but that kind of seems like what is going on.

Part of me thinks all these people are being awful to the main character and part of me kind of thinks she deserves it. Generally, people are not ok with being married to you and you having a lover, some people are, most people aren’t. I’m not ok with it, so there’s probably a whole lot of personal bias, on my part, against the main character of this book.

This book also made me infinitely glad that I did not have any children with the my ex-husband. I don’t want to imagine what kind of nightmare that would have been.

Overall

It’s rains all the time and terrible things happen to me.

Weigh In

If you were going through a terrible time in your life, would you find consistent weather comforting at all?

First opinions–how do you feel about the main character?

 

 

#979 One Hundred Days of Rain by Carellin Brooks was originally published on One-elevenbooks

Fantasy, Fiction, Historical Fiction, Romantic Fiction, Weyn-Suzanne

#975 Water Song by Suzanne Weyn

 Water Song by Suzanne Weyn Water Song by Suzanne Weyn

Emma and her mother were trying to go back home to their family estate, but then the war happened and Emma’s mother was killed. She ended up on her own back at the large family estate, but the war comes there too. She gets a letter from her boyfriend breaking up with her because everyone thinks her mother ran off from her father while he was away at war. This wasn’t the case; it was a planned visit. She throws her family locket, with the boyfriend’s picture, into the well and almost immediately regrets it. How will she ever get it back?

Meanwhile, there is a man in the war and his unit is under a gas attack. He finds the water, as he always does, and he gets away. He happens to end up in the bottom of Emma’s well. She hears someone down there and helps to get him out, but is immediately confronted by the enemy. The two must pretend to be husband and wife while making plans to get away. The man asks for a kiss and Emma doesn’t want to give it, but more hardships come and Emma learns more about things that are important.

What I liked

This was a retelling of The Frog Prince and it was an interesting take. I liked the more romantic part of this. The story made Emma out to be less of a brat than the princess was in the book, but Emma was still a bit of a brat. I would have never thought about placing this story during a World War. I think that was an interesting way to make this story more modern than it actually is while still giving it a little enigma of age.

What I didn’t like

This is one of those “Oh you’ll like me eventually” sort of love stories. That doesn’t always work out. Maybe if you are patient, someone would like you eventually, but you know, maybe not. Maybe their opinion of you always considers that you’re a friend, or annoying, and they’re not going to love you. You cannot simply annoy someone until they decide to like you. If anything, annoying them would probably make them less likely to like you.

Overall

She kissed a frog! Aw, how sweet!

Weigh In

If you knew that kissing a frog would turn him into a prince that liked you, would you do it, even though you knew you would get Salmonella poisoning?

What does kissing a frog mean to you?

#975 Water Song by Suzanne Weyn was originally published on One-elevenbooks

Bennett- Cindy C., Fantasy, Fiction, Romantic Fiction

#963 The White Swan by Cindy C. Bennett

The White Swan by Cindy C. BennettThe White Swan by Cindy C. Bennett

In this retelling of the traditional swan princess fairy tale, Cindy Bennett brings this fairy tale into the modern age complete with cars and emails. There’s also a rivalry between twin sisters, Odette and Odile, who has been missing for a time. No one knows that it’s the local Rothbart, or Benno, as he is known locally, who has used his magical powers to turn Odile into a swan. She is a black swan that swims on the lake part of the time and the rest of the time she is a human.

Odette has come home from school, with her unrequited love for Trevor. Benno likes Odette though and a terrible plan is hatched. Both sisters will turn into swans, but only one will be allowed to leave. Which one will it be?

What I liked

I was expecting the traditional story about Odette when I started reading this, but I got this instead. This modern adaptation is interesting. The author did include some interesting Easter eggs in this story concerning the original ballet of Swan Lake. Some of the characters are named after the artists who portrayed the characters on stage. I thought that was fun.

What I didn’t like

While I do find that some modern-day retellings of traditional fairy tales are great, I don’t really know how I feel about this one. It’s difficult to have magic sitting alongside cars and emails. It’s not as believable as it would have been in a different age. I also just felt like this was a bunch of teenage drama. Oh, no! She likes the boy I like! I’m going to be sulky and plot with an evil magician to try to get said boy even though it’s really the other girl he likes.

Please.

There’s this book called He’s Just not that Into You. I haven’t read it, but I kind of feel like its advice might just apply in this situation.

Overall

Just be careful out there. Some weirdo might turn you into a swan and then you’d have to eat pieces of bread at the park all day and that’s way too many carbs.

Weigh In

If someone was going to turn you into an animal, which animal would you pick and why?

What advice would you give to someone trying to get someone who likes someone else?

#963 The White Swan by Cindy C. Bennett was originally published on One-elevenbooks

Fantasy, Fiction, MacDonald George, Romantic Fiction

#962 The Light Princess by George MacDonald

The Light Princess by George MacDonaldThe Light Princess by George MacDonald

Once there was a king and queen who did not have any children. The king decided to be cross about this fact, but his wife told him that he had to be patient. They had a baby girl at one point. The king forgot to invite one of his relatives, an aunt, or sister. This was both a good and a bad thing. It was a good thing because everyone knew she was a witch. She had spells that could do all sorts of things and she wasn’t very nice. It was a bad thing because she was a known witch and she had spells that could do all sorts of things and she wasn’t very nice. She showed up anyway and cast a spell on the baby while everyone was celebrating the birth of the princess.

The curse that was placed upon the baby was that gravity would not affect her. She floated right up to the ceiling and had to be gotten down with a precarious ladder and tongs. One time she was almost lost for good when a breeze blew in through an open window and took her right outside. Luckily, it put her down right under a rose-bush.

She grew up and was alone. What she loved more than anything was the lake the castle was on. While she was in the water she felt that she did have gravity. She loved to swim.

At this time a prince came around from another country and he met the princess at the lake and the two swam together, which they enjoyed very much. They met all the time to go swimming. One day, the princess noticed that the lake was getting lower. This was because the very same person who had cursed her as  baby was now cursing the lake. It was draining out and drying up. The princess took to her room, but she did not cry, because she had never cried. She only laughed. She laughed at everything.

A champion was asked. The champion would fix the lake, but he would not survive. The prince volunteered as he had missed the princess, but he also wanted her to be happy. When the princess realized the volunteer was her prince amazing things happened.

What I liked

This was a lovely story. I really enjoy fairy tales and even though this one is more modern than most I’ve read, it’s still great. I really liked the idea of gravity being taken away from a person. That’s a particularly interesting curse. It would mean you would weigh nothing, but I have to wonder what affects that would have on your muscles. Your digestive system might not work as optimally as it could. I consider that there may be some weird problems associated with being weightless and unaffected by gravity.

I also just thought the plot of this story was great. I liked that this princess is a bit different. She does things that aren’t necessarily lady-like. She’s outspoken. She finds someone who is quirky like her.

What I didn’t like

I really did like this story, so I can’t really think of anything to pick out of it right now.

Overall

I curse you to not be able to see the color green!–Practical Curses that Affect Everything in Life, Vol. 3 Page 354

Weigh In

If you had to be cursed with losing one the effects of one law of science on your body, what law would you pick?

Can you think of anymore downsides to not being affected by gravity?

#962 The Light Princess by George MacDonald was originally published on One-elevenbooks

Fantasy, Fiction, Levine-Gail Carson, Romantic Fiction, Young Adult

#939 Ever by Gail Carson Levine

Ever by Gail Carson Levine

Ever by Gail Carson Levine

Kezi lives with her mother and father. She’s an only child, they worship the one true God. There’s an altar in their home dedicated to this god.

She does not know that other Gods exist, including one around her age named Olus. He happens to raise goats on land leased from Kezi’s father. He is the god of wind and loneliness. He has a special interest in Kezi.

One day, Kezi’s mother falls terribly ill and the local medicine man just wants to let her blood and doesn’t give a lot of hope. Kezi’s father makes an oath to their god. He swears that if his wife recovers, he will sacrifice whoever, if anybody, congratulates him on his wife’s recovery.

She does get better and no one wishes congratulations until an elderly aunt comes by. Kezi knows what will happen, so she wishes her father congratulations instead. She must die.

There are thirty days left in Kezi’s life, but she runs into Olus and he whisks her away. He tells her that perhaps she could become a goddess. She would have to become a heroine and pass a test. Could Kezi complete this task? Could she stay with Olus forever?

What I liked

This story was fun. I like the idea of being with someone forever. I believe we do go on after this life. I would like to think we can keep the relationships we have.

I really have no knowledge of other God’s existing, but it’s kind of fun to think about, at least in the mythology sense.

What I didn’t like

This is kind of Twilight.

Overall

If only we could all be rescued from life by some immortal being…*sigh* *teenage love ideals*

Weigh in

If some immortal dude asked you to go with him and leave everything behind, would you?

Would you offer yourself so someone else wouldn’t have to die?

#939 Ever by Gail Carson Levine was originally published on One-elevenbooks

Fiction, Romantic Fiction, Sparks-Nicholas

#731 The Best of Me by Nicholas Sparks

The Best of Me by Nicholas SparksThe Best of Me by Nicholas Sparks

Amanda and Dawson were high school sweethearts, but because of their family backgrounds, they grew apart. Amanda’s parents didn’t like her hanging out with someone who was essentially white trash in their view. Dawson’s family was poor enough and he didn’t have a lot of advantages. Something unfortunate happened and he ended up going to prison for a while.

Amanda moved on. She went to college. She got married. She ended up with several children, one of which died very young. Her husband is an alcoholic. She doesn’t quite know how to deal with the situation anymore.

A common thread between Dawson and Amanda, even these days, is a man named Tuck. He has been something of a mentor to both Dawson and Amanda. When they had no one else to talk to, they talked to Tuck. He knew their troubles in life and he saw through both of them, down to the root of a problem. Tuck himself lost his wife many years ago, and sometimes he still talks to her. He kept a garden up for her, all these years later.

When Tuck dies, both Amanda and Dawson find themselves in each other’s presence again. They share a short time together that will leave Amanda with a piece of Dawson in a way she never expected.

What I liked

I feel like Nicholas Sparks is having a competition with Pixar to see who could write the thing that will make people cry the most. This book certainly has some “feels” as some people might say. I wonder if Nicholas Sparks secretly writes all those sad Pixar movie moments.

I liked that, again, this book is kind of local. By local, in this sense, it’s about five hours away. Oriental is a real place, not too far away from New Bern, on the coast of North Carolina. Back in March, I spent some time in New Bern when my boyfriend’s father died. The family is from New Bern and the Outer Banks area. They have a lot of history there. I liked that I could experience some of this book, almost in real life, because I’ve been to New Bern. It’s home to the Tryon Palace if you’re looking for touristy things to do there.

What I didn’t like

This was sad.

Perhaps it’s because I’ve been through a divorce and I’ve seen what a relationship with someone compatible and someone non-compatible looks like, but I just plain don’t like the idea of staying with someone just because you’re married to them and refraining from being with someone else who is much more compatible. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think you should run off from a marriage every time you think someone better has come along, but if your spouse is not better, or not even good, or not even adequate, and you know from experience that the other person is better, you used to date them in high school, for example, then I don’t see why you would stay with the person who is not very good.

If I were in Amanda’s place, I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t stay with an alcoholic husband who seems like a waste of space. A person only changes when they want to change and that may be never. There’s no point in suffering on their account.

Overall

I bet Nicholas Sparks and Pixar secretly get together to watch/read each other’s stuff and then cry about it.

Weigh In

What do you think about books and/or movies that are written to be purposely sad?

What do you think? Could you stay with the alcoholic husband?

#731 The Best of Me by Nicholas Sparks was originally published on One-elevenbooks