Hesperia Loves Books
I read to save my sanity, plain & simple. I am a married mother of 3 (2 of which are teenagers, yay me!) who needs an escape from the eye rolls, attitude and day to day drama that comes along with raising teenagers. Without books, I would be medicated ;) I blog about my addiction to reading at Hesperia Loves Books.
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Smashwords book reviews by Hesperia Loves Books
- Heart of Glass
on Aug. 02, 2011
This was an absolutely amazing read! You need to put down your current book, RUN to your computer & buy this spectacular story by Christy Hayes. Not since reading Pamela Clare’s I-Team series, have I found a Romantic/Suspense genre book that evoked such emotions as Heart of Glass. It has landed a firm spot on my Favorite Books of 2011 list.
Kate & Danny's love story is simply breathtaking. The story was SO realistic & felt so genuine that I got butterflies when they met, cried like a baby when she had to leave him & cheered when she found her way back. It was almost as if I was the one experiencing all of the ups & downs within the story & not the fictional characters. I even wanted to go into the pages & bitch-slap her sister Julia a time or two.
What I found so refreshing however, was that Danny wasn't just up & ready to take Kate back no questions asked. More often times than not, in the romance genre, problems are solved in the blink of a few pages. All issues are forgiven easily and everyone is happy go lucky and we all go riding off into the sunset. Well, I think since we all live in the real world, we know that almost NEVER happens. What was great about this story is that when Kate returns, Danny is skeptical (as he very well should be) and he guards his heart. Yes he still loves her but he realizes that sometimes that is not enough. She has to prove her trust-worthiness & love. It is a very hard road for him & her both to travel but it is a very powerful story. A story of finding your way back to someone when trust & love have been fractured but is still worth mending.
- Jennifer's Garden
on Sep. 21, 2011
We follow Dr. Jennifer Hamilton in her race against time to get married. Her mother is dying of cancer and wants to see her married in a garden, just like she was. The only problem, Jennifer’s landscape leaves much to be desired. So she hires a landscape designer to transform her yard all in time for her wedding. Little does she know that her choice of designer will forever change her life.
I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from this story. From the book excerpt, I thought the premise was very intriguing and had my interest piqued. Dianne Venetta wrote a beautifully descriptive story and during the construction/planting phase of her garden, you felt as if you could see every single plant, fountain, shrub, etc. After reading I want to go home and plant a garden myself, it sounded just that wonderful. The love story was very soft & understated, but that didn’t make it any less powerful. What was even more powerful, was the relationship between Jennifer & her mom, Beatrice. The love that they both shared for each other and struggle with Beatrice’s illness was so moving. I cried for the loss of such an important & integral part of Jennifer’s life.
From the start I didn’t like the main character. Jennifer was a confident “I have everything planned out” kind of girl and if anything diverted from those plans she was lost. She knew exactly what she thought she wanted in a man – education, status, occupation, wealth, class, etc. If a man didn’t meet that criteria, she didn’t even look twice. When introduced to Jackson, she refuses to see past his job title & clothes, to the real person inside and treats him very unfairly. This completely & totally turned me off to her. Throughout the rest of the book, with the help of her friend Sam (whom I loved BTW), we see her realize, confront & change her prejudices, and in the end benefit from that acceptance. However, for me I just never got over that initial dislike. The book was also a little long and I felt that some length could have been shaved off during editing, especially towards the end. Other than those minor things, the book was a wonderful read. I look forward to reading more of Ms. Venetta’s work.
- A Dozen Deadly Roses
on Oct. 20, 2011
If you love books that are filled with suspense, police procedure and romance, then this is definitely the book for you! A Dozen Deadly Roses is fast-paced and jam packed with action that will keep you keep you turning page after page. However, it doesn't stop there! The romance between Jade & Mac is filled with secrets, revelations, twists, & turns - but by the end, you know it was all worth it :)
There were several things that stood out to me while reading Kathy Bennett's debut novel. The first, it didn't feel like a first book. The dialogue & characterization were great and the story built nicely throughout. The second, the story felt very authentic and it was almost as if, in some scenes, I was along for the ride in the police car with Jade & Mac. And finally third, the bad guy completely surprised me, and I liked it. When reading a suspense book, I like the mystery to keep me guessing until the end. If I figure it out to early then I feel a little cheated.
There were really no drawbacks to the book for me. I would have liked to see more interaction between Jade & Mac outside of their work, as well as, a little more history for both Mac & Jade. These are certainly just wants from me, and they in no way detract from the book, I just crave the details ;)
Outstanding debut novel and definitely an author I will continue to read!!!
- Between a Rock and a Mad Woman
on Dec. 12, 2011
Wow, this book was simply amazing! Stephanie Queen delivered a thought-provoking political romance drama (whew, that was a mouth keyboard full) that kept me on the edge of of seat until the very end. Her characters were smart, witty, and they made you want to know more. The dialogue and plot flowed & built wonderfully and for me, there was never a lag & I was totally sucked in and loved it ♥
Madeline is a extremely smart (think prodigy) & beautiful Harvard professor who is running for the Governor of Massachusetts. You start the book as she looses her parties nomination for the Governor's race and you follow her as she plans to continue and follows through with her campaign. What unfolds is her struggle, as a woman, in running for such a powerful office. She not only has to face the same normal issues as her running mates but also has to fight extra hard to be accepted seriously and not just as a beautiful woman. The campaign takes on a tabloid feel and you get to see first hand her heartache & strong will as she battles to keep the issues, not her love life, in the forefront. Her opponent, Peter, is her biggest competitor and the man she once loved. She has deliberately distanced herself from him for the past six years and now she is forced to have him in her life. This makes her realize that maybe her love for him never ended - and that she wants another chance with him. However, someone wants to keep them apart and will use their past relationship against them and ruin both of their bids for Governor.
I tend to try and stay away from political campaigns because I feel that it becomes more like a three ring circus when it should be about what the candidate(s) can do for the community they are trying to represent. So, I was a little unsure as to whether I would like this story. However, Stephanie does an amazing job at taking us, the reader, behind the scenes to show us a little about what that candidate must go through and has to face day-to-day while campaigning. I was riveted! The twists, turns, surprises & the love story that resulted were outstanding and I can't wait to read more on this subject.
- The Accidental Encore
on Aug. 26, 2012
With The Accidental Encore, Christy Hayes continues to prove why I would read Tax Code if she wrote it! This story is sweet & charming but also very real in its plot and the emotions that evoke from the characters & for the readers. It’s about loss, misunderstandings, forgiveness, love, acceptance and deals with how Craig & Allie find their way to friendship, then love.
After a first meeting that is less than desirable, Craig & Allie have a strong dislike for one another. When circumstances, beyond their control, continue to put them in each other’s path, it gets harder and harder to push their feelings of attraction aside. When they both try to deny the attraction, the animosity between them grows.
After ending a very bad relationship, Allie is determined to get back in the dating scene. She refuses to let the insecurities and heartbreak, caused by her previous fiance, play a role in her life. She wants to love, to find that all encompassing connection with someone. So when, date after date, she can’t find even one person that sparks her interest, she begins to wonder if that person even exists.
Craig has also suffered heartbreak in a relationship, but he feels at fault. Refusing to repeat the supposed mistakes of the past, he shuts down. The only relationship he allows himself is with his brother and niece. He never realizes how lonely he has become until his niece’s piano teacher awakens feelings he’s tried to never have again.
I loved Craig & Allie together! From their acerbic first meetings, I was left wondering how they would find their way to each other. The path that Ms. Hayes had them travel was beautiful, realistic & had just enough suspense to keep me turning the page. Their feelings were tangible - indecision, joy, triumph, anger, betrayal, forgiveness, acceptance and finally love. For me, that is the mark of a great book, when as a reader, I feel everything the characters are feeling as if I were in the book myself - perfection!
If there is one author that you should read this year, it’s Christy Hayes. It doesn’t matter which book, they are all phenomenal! Once you do, I’ll happily accept your “Thanks Alyssa for the amazing recommendation! I loved it.”