April 29, 2010

Patterson's Soft Side

Who know that James Patterson, one of the most popular modern mystery writers harbored the ability to compose a romantic novel that inspires tears? I sure didn't and was pleasantly surprised when I read my very first James Patterson novel: Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas.

Katie works in New York City and has fallen deeply in love with Matt. The two of them have more fun together than she could have ever imagined. Just when things are reaching levels of happiness beyond comprehension, Matt drops a bombshell on Katie. He's married. With no other explanation, he leaves Katie. Katie is, of course, distraught and completely heartbroken. She vows to get over Matt. But then a package arrives for her with his handwriting on the outside. Inside is a diary with a note attached to it. Matt tells Katie that if she really wanted to understand about why Matt never told her about his marriage, she needed to read the diary: his wife Suzanne's diary for his son Nicholas. The diary details the couple's meeting, dating, marriage, and child birth, with a few extra little twists thrown in.

I liked this book and could not put it down. It reads much like a Nicholas Sparks novel. Almost the entire book was read before I had to ask myself, "Okay, I still am not figuring out where this is going." Patterson uses his master mystery mind to hold reader's in suspense until the very last ten pages.

I won't lie and say that this was a fantastic book. I was engaged with it and had to keep reading to find out what happens next, but it isn't literary genius by any means. It's a fun, fast, effortless read. And let's face it, sometimes that's all us avid readers need. I recommend this book to Nicholas Sparks and James Patterson fans! It's worth the read.

April 27, 2010

Plaidy = Historical Fiction Perfection!

The Rose Without A Thorn, by Jean Plaidy

This is the story of Katherine Howard, a lowly member of a prominent English family who would later become Queen of England. Katherine began her life living with her numerous brothers and sisters. Her father and mother, though Howards, did not have the wealth which is usually attributed to such a family. Even at a young age, Katherine exhibited immense beauty and resembled her beautiful cousin, Anne Boleyn (who would serve as her predicesor). Taken in by her grandmother, the Duchess, Katherine learned more than just how to play the lute. Here, she was exposed to all sorts of sexual behaviors, even at the young age of fourteen. The matter was quickly hushed up when Katherine was granted a spot at Court in Henry VIII's fourth queen's, Anne of Cleves, retinue. Unhappy with his German queen, Henry quickly divorced her and married the sensual Katherine. Needless to say, her wicked past caught up with her and led her to the same fate her cousin met: beheading at the block.

I am a huge Jean Plaidy fan. She is one of my favorite authors. She knows how to blend the worlds of history and fiction so well. The Rose Without A Thorn is no exception. There are not many historical fiction books out there that details the life of Henry's other wives. Because Anne Boleyn is arguably the most interesting of his six brides, historical fiction writers tend to focus on her. Not that I am complaining... everyone knows I love a good Anne Boleyn novel. But it is refreshing to read about the others: Catherine of Aragon, Anne of Cleves, Katherine Howard, Catherine Parr, and my personal favorite for some reason Jane Seymour.

I would definitely recommend this book to any Tudor lover. I finished it in a matter of a few days. It's a quick and satisfying read. It will quench any historical fiction fan's thirst for courtly intrigue!

April 8, 2010

Aren't I The Lucky One?

I certainly am feeling lucky! This week I scored huge at my local library and bargain shopping with finding some wonderful books that I have not read yet. I have had these books on my TBR list for ages. Now that I own them, perhaps it will be easier to get around to them. This also gives me some great options to take to Mexico with me at the end of May. So here are the books I scored:

*Laurien Gardner - The Spanish Bride
*Sara Gruen - Water for Elephants
*Kristin Hannah - The Things We Do For Love
*Karen Harper - The Last Princess of Wales
*Khaled Hosseini - The Kite Runner
*Dennis Lehane - Shutter Island
*Jodi Picoult - Vanishing Acts

I am so excited to get reading these. Though I know that I cannot begin reading them until I finish the fifth installment of Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series. I'll tell you what, I love her books without question. But they sure do take a while to read, especially when practically balancing two jobs. The Fiery Cross is an excellent book, though not nearly as wonderful as the others in the series, but I confess that I am anxious to be done with it. I hate that feeling; it makes me feel as though I am cheating on my significant other. So I'm sorry, The Fiery Cross, but can we just get this over with? I'm ready to move on.

With love,