Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Another selection of great books to curl up with.

A Wedding Wager by Jane Feather

Publishers Weekly –

Feather follows 2010's Rushed to the Altar with another story of three handsome but poor brothers who must marry "women in need of spiritual or moral salvation" to inherit their uncle's fortune. Beautiful Lady Serena Carmichael broke the Hon. Sebastian Sullivan's heart, abandoning him to follow her stepfather, Gen. Sir George Heyward, to the Continent. Sir George then frittered away Serena's inheritance and used her body as currency to pay off his debts. When he brings her back to London three years later as the hostess for a gambling house, she encounters Sebastian again and their mutual lust rekindles. It is never clear why Serena ever chose her vile stepfather over her virile lover, but she makes the most of her second chance. Feather creates vivid protagonists, appealing secondary characters, and a passionate romance, but the plot feels thin and rushed.

Distant Shores by Kristin Hannah

Publishers Weekly –

Having found her audience with Summer Island and On Mystic Lake, Hannah returns with another second-chance-at-love story, this one as bleak as the soggy Pacific Northwest setting. Perimenopausal former artist Elizabeth Shore is feeling lost and miserable these days, as daughters Jamie and Stephanie matriculate at Georgetown and husband Jack focuses on jump-starting his stalled sports broadcasting career. So Elizabeth, tellingly nicknamed "Birdie," compulsively redecorates her empty nest and pesters Jack with lugubrious questions about what's wrong with their lives. Then Jack scores a journalistic coup, and in his implausibly meteoric return to broadcasting glory, winds up in an efficiency apartment in New York City, halfheartedly fending off the advances of both a nubile assistant and a Hollywood bombshell. Meanwhile, back in rainy Oregon, Birdie grieves for her beloved late father, joins a support group for "passionless" women, starts to paint again and talks to herself in the self-help homilies Hannah favors ("No more cheerleader years for me. I need to get in the game"). She even has a rapprochement with newly widowed stepmother Anita, who, in a particularly explosive burst of character development, somehow transforms from a tacky Southern "Bette Midler on speed" to a white-haired sylph favoring "long, flowing" white dresses. (When Birdie finds her bliss, she discovers she's miraculously lost weight.) Hannah's tried-and-true formula includes the predictable happy ending, complete with life lessons tearfully learned, but only hardcore fans will make it to the last page of this dreary soap.


The Creed Legacy by Linda Lael Miller
From the Publisher -

Rough-and-tumble rodeo cowboy Brody Creed likes life on the move. Until a chance encounter with his long-estranged twin brother brings him "home" for the first time in years. Suddenly Brody is in Creed territory—at thirty-three, he's a restless bad boy among family with deep ties to the land and each other. And a secret past haunts him as he tries to make plans for his future.

Carolyn Simmons is looking for Mr. Right in Lonesome Bend, as the ticktock of her biological clock gets ever louder. Then she falls for gorgeous Brody Creed, the opposite of everything she wants. Until lassoing his wild heart becomes everything both of them need.

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