Monday, June 21, 2010

Book Club - June

There was no meeting in May. June's book was supposed to be the second book in the Weston series started in April, but it was changed to Mr. Perfect by Linda Howard. This was my pick for a book, it was the first book I read by Linda Howard and one I can re-read no problem, so I hoped everyone else would like it, we haven't yet read a suspenseful romance book.

- The Story -

Jaine Bright and three close friends share dinner one night and during casual conversation, create a list of qualifications for the perfect man--some logical, some hilariously funny, some racy. Within days, their tongue-in-cheek wish list of attributes for Mr. Perfect has been leaked to the press and the resultant publicity is overwhelming. Coworkers, TV crews, and reporters barrage the quartet with comments and criticism.
As if Jaine doesn't have enough to cope with, she has a new neighbor who she suspects is a criminal. She's relieved to learn that her neighbor is really an undercover cop, but she's still wary--because smart, sexy Sam Donovan handles her sharp witticisms with easy humor, and Jaine suspects that he may threaten her heart. What Jaine doesn't know is that she's about to need Sam desperately for something other than romance because her circle of friends is in big trouble. Unfortunately, that list of qualifications for Mr. Perfect has touched off a madman's rage. All of their lives are threatened and some of them are going to die, maybe all of them, if Sam can't stop the unknown killer.
Mr. Perfect brings to readers the quintessential Linda Howard hero, whose straightforward, "me Tarzan, you Jane" attitude plays well with a smart, witty heroine. The rapid-fire dialogue between the two is downright hilarious at times, even when the two are about to steam up the windows and burn up the sheets. --Lois Faye Dyer (via Amazon.com Reviews)

- The Characters -
Jaine - Jaine Bright is a character I can relate too and one that I'm not ashamed to say I want to be like, she's a girly-girl who can stand her ground with a real man.  She knows fashion but she also knows cars. She can sweet talk you one second and curse you out the next (though she working on the language).  She's quirky in the way she converses with BooBoo and takes pleasures in the little things like getting to mow her lawn for the first time. Jaine also has the courage I wish I could have, I don't know if I could have handled the events that bombard her life during the weeks followed in the book with out having a major break down, yet she holds it together.

Sam -While I want to be like Jaine I want a man like Sam Donovan. Sam is sexy and got a great personality.  He's a real man's man, but he's not scared to show his emotions, soft, angry or any of the others.  He calls Janie on her BS and has no problem standing toe to toe with her with they both get bull headed. He's family orientated, dedicated to his career, and cares about his community.  Hmmm, I think he very well could be a Mr. Perfect.

- Discussion -
Everyone over all liked the book.  Only two other people really loved it and couldn't put it down.  There was talk over who we all thought the killer was and who we thought it wasn't and how surprised (or not so surprised) we were with who it turned out to be, it originally threw me for a twist. There was talk about what it took for Linda Howard to create such an disturbed and well thought out character.

We talked about the relationships in the book between the friends, Jaine and her siblings, and the romantic relationships.  I can't really talk about that more without getting into plot details.  That also goes for some of the things we liked and didn't like about the book.

Some things I like, besides Jaine and Sam:
-how Linda Howard doesn't come right out and tell you what kind of car Jaine is watching for her father.
-how minor characters are developed and included in meaningful ways, including "the geeks"
-the notes the geeks leave by the elevators

Some things I didn't like:
-I can't list the big ones cause again they get into plot details.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Book Club - April

This month's book was another historical romance, I'll be honest until I met my friend Stephanie I never really had much interest in this genre of romance books, but I'm really starting to like them. Anyway, this month's book was Promise Me Tonight by Sara Lindsey.

- The Story -
Isabella Weston has been in love with her older brother’s best friend James Sheffield since she was a girl. On the night of her coming-out ball, she’s determined to make James fall head over heels in love with her and want to marry her. James is back in England after spending time in Ireland and is shocked to find that his best friend’s impish little sister is now a stunning beauty. James knows he’s in big trouble when he finds it impossible to resist her charming, cunning wiles and dogged ways, but his painful childhood has made him promise himself that he’ll never marry or have children. This headstrong pair produce an entertaining battle of wits and wills while dealing with their own internal battles.


- The Characters -
Izzie - I felt that she was likable and real. She started out headstrong and knowing what she wantd. After James breaks her heart she breaks apart, I believe even the strongest female would do the same when it's the man you've loved your whole life. I can't fault her for that though many reviews I read have faulted her for her flip-flop personality. She still loves James but becomes scared to put herself back out there in fear that he'll hurt her again.

James - He's selfish but I feel he has good reason to be, to a point. His childhood traumatized him and just lie Izzie he's afraid to put himself in a situation where he might get hurt.

- Discussion -
I overall enjoyed this book, as did the rest of the group. The characters were likable and the story engaging enough that I wanted to read more to see how the characters worked out their problems. (It's a romance, so you know they'll work it out.) Some reviews had mentioned that they book reminds them of Julia Quinn books, I haven't read many of her books, so I didn't have that problem, but as far as being predictable, yea I get that. It's a romance, they all follow a similar formula.

A few things did bother me:
-James is half Irish yet this is never brought up as a point where Izzie is concerned only in reference to James' grandfather.
-I also didn't care for the plot point of needing James to almost die to realize he's been a selfish ass and that he really does love Izzie and then his sappy speech at the end of the book.
-James is dedicated to his "school" in Ireland but no mention is made to this at the end, hopefully in following books we'll hear something.

A few things I really loved!
-The time line --> it was believable that things took a while to grow and build and be rebuilt. It wasn't one of these books that has events take place over two months.
-The letter excerpts.
-The family