Tag Archive | two hearts

Black Hills by Nora Roberts #review #romance

Black Hills

2heart

Synopsis

Cooper (Coop) and Lillian (Lil) meet as children when Coop goes to visit his grandparents for the summer in South Dakota. They keep in touch over the years and eventually fall in love with one another. They are both in their early 20’s at this point.

Coop is nowhere near having his life together. On the other hand, Lil has her career path laid out. Feeling as if he does not deserve her, he breaks up with her.

Years later, he is back in South Dakota to help out his grandparents and decides that now he is worthy of being with Lil. Meanwhile, there is a psychopath serial killer that is obsessed with Lil.

Opinion

Since this is a Nora Roberts romance, I really wanted to like this book. I do not think you can fully understand my desire to want to like this book. I was so excited to find it in a used book store and was looking forward to curling up and reading this, having warm fuzzy feelings, and re-reading again and again. Since most of my books these days are on my kindle, I was going to treasure holding a book in my hand and adding this one to my bookshelf collection.

The good

(1) I like the demonstrations of love between Lil’s parents and Coop’s grandparents. It is evident that these two couples have been in love for decades.

(2) Lil’s mother pragmatic approach to Lil’s hang ups is probably what helped her to get over herself and give Coop a second chance.

The bad

(1) The story seemed to drag on and on. I do not mind 400 pages if the book is interesting enough to keep my interest

There was so much detail about wildlife preserve and the big cats (cougars, jaguars, etc) held there that I began to feel overwhelmed with the details. Maybe that would have been more interesting to me if I already knew more about it. If it was not for the fact that I wanted to find out how the showdown between Lil and psychopath went, I probably would have stopped reading.

(2) Coop’s attitude of “I’m going to stay here until you want to make love to me” would have grated my nerves more if I was not already perturbed with Lil. He was clueless when he thought that they amicably broke up. But for him to think years later that they would pick up where they left off was laughable.

(3) Despite the fact that there was a psychopath on the loose, it seems that the authorities did little to notify the public of the danger he posed. Why were there not posters of his face everywhere? The news outlets should have been warning people. Why did people not lock their doors? He should not have been able walk in public or talk to anyone without an alarm being sounded.

The ugly

(1) Lil’s you-broke-my-heart attitude was exasperating. OKAY! We get it. He broke you heart 10 years ago.

Stop sleeping with him. It sends mixed messages. Did you forgive him or not? It seemed irrational that she would “trust him with her life” but at the same time be worried that he would leave her.

(2) Both are so wrapped up in their own feelings that they do not recognize how their actions affected the other. Granted, I think that Coop eventually understood how his misguided attempt to ensure Lil’s happiness backfired. But I do not think that Lil really fully appreciated the intent of Coop’s actions. Whether she wanted to admit it or not, he was partially right. He would have been an anchor on her boat to success, weighing her down and probably preventing her from achieving much of what she accomplished. The fact that she could not admit even a little that his thought process had some merit is what disappointed me most about Lil’s character. It is as if she discounted all that he was dealing with at the time because it caused her discomfort.

In the end, I was confused. I never experienced these types of negative emotions with a Nora Roberts’ book.

Should you buy? I cannot really recommend Black Hills, but if you are a die hard Nora Roberts fan, you might want to read just to say you have read all her books. Then again, if you like whiny heroines, you will like this book.

Book Details from Goodreads
Hardcover, 472 pages
Published July 7th 2009 by Putnam (first published 2009)
Setting Black Hills, South Dakota, 2009 (United States)
Available on Amazon

buy_this_book

Is your Man of Fantasy as good as this


Man of Fantasy (Arabesque) ♥ ♥

Synopsis

Nayo is a photographer who is being commissioned to provide artwork for Ivan’s house. His interior decorator said he needed artwork on the walls since the houses design was going to be featured in a prestigious architectural magazine. During the course of the story, they fall for each other.

Opinion

The story consisted of a clichéd plot: a love-then-leave-them, relationship challenged man who is intrigued by a woman who does not want a promise of commitment.

I think a lot of Ivan’s change in attitude towards relationships and marriage had to do with the fact that his two best friends were engaged and had wonderful significant others. They took every opportunity to tell him how great life was to be committed to one woman.

As for Nayo, I cannot understand her reluctance to even consider a relationship and career at the same time. Why not tell the man up front, “A relationship with me does not mean I will not pursue my career”? She acted as if she had to choose one or the other. Granted her ex-fiancé wanted her to choose, but that is why he became an ex! She built a relationship barrier over something that could have been cleared if she would have communicated more.

I did enjoy the characters in a few instances. The scene where Nayo photographed Ivan was cute.

However, most of the time, I was rolling my eyes in annoyance. Ivan was a man not used to having to chase the woman. Plus it seems that he is mostly doing the “relationship thing” not to be left out of the loop with his buddies. As for Nayo, she did not know how to have a work-life balance.

After they get married, the thrill will be gone.

Coupled with the fact that they seemed like they will have to work very hard to make the relationship succeed (as opposed to other couples whose personalities seem better suited), and I wonder how long will they stay married.

 

Overall, Man of Fantasy is okay if there is nothing else to read. I do not know if I recommend buying this book, but get it from the library.

She gives geek girls a bad name

Geek Girl and the Scandalous Earl ♥♥

Jamie is video game playing geek girl that gets transported 200 years into the past landing in Micah’s house. Micah is an Earl that is courting a woman who he thinks is respectable enough to draw attention away from the fact that one of his mistresses died from poisoning. It seems the sole reason for Jamie to be transported back in time was for her to love Micah the way he deserved to be loved.

That is the whole book in a nutshell. I did not read the blurb about the book, going solely on the cover to choose my purchase. My mistake. I was ill prepared for the time travel aspect. Getting over that, I proceeded to accept that and try to enjoy the book as best I could. No biggie.

The more I read, the more annoyed I was with Jamie.

  1.  She gave everyone a nickname. She insisted on calling Micah “Mike”. I do not like it when people do that. I think it is disrespectful.
  2. I could not understand how it was that she did not like Micah one minute and then, just as quickly, she was in love with him.
  3. She knows she is 200 years in the past, but she keeps making a big deal of the vast cultural differences as if she never read a history book. She wants Micah to treat her as a modern woman like that would not be as much of a cultural shock to him as it was to her.
  4. Even though she was called a geek girl, she did not seem all that smart to me. Being a self-proclaimed geek (also part of a local Geek group), I want to say that being a geek is more than just playing video games all the time with no discernible social life.

I was not as annoyed with Micah but there were some holes in the story

  1. Micah seemed to be too straitlaced to be considered scandalous
  2. How he decided he was in love was another mystery for me. Halfway through the book, he declared in effect that would marry for duty and not love.

Jamie was an uncouth, brash, loser girl who needed to get her life together before she could think about falling in love. In my opinion, she was not over the breakup with her ex-boyfriend. Micah was an uptight earl who was unlucky in love because he was so stubborn. It is not that he was unlikable, but he was not that likeable either. By the time the story finished, I was indifferent to whether or not they would be happy.

Books that make me say “Meh”

There have been several books that I gave 2 hearts because of a variety of reasons. I did not want to spend a whole blog post on each review because I did not want to seem as if no book could satisfy my standards.
In this post, I will start with an extremely short synopsis of each book and then give the reasons why I did not give it a higher rating.

MINE FOR TONIGHT: Book One – The Billionaire’s Obsession)

Synopsis: Hero has been following heroine because he is obsessed with her. When she is without a place to stay, he convinces her to stay at his lavish apartment. Granted without his offer, she would have been on the suffering, on the street, with no place to go. But I still think that it is sad that she has absolutely no friends that she has to accept an offer from a veritable stranger. In any case, she accept and soon they give in to attraction. Cue the love scene.

My issues with this story: (1) The Hero seems to be a little creepy to me and his following his love interest is perilously similar to stalking (2) I did not like the way the book ended. If you write a novella, I do not like for the story to end abruptly as if the book is missing another chapter. The author should have made it clear in the synopsis that this is nothing more than just a prologue to the main story. I hope that the whole series is not like this book. It peeves me to no end when an author takes what could be a full length novel and divides the chapters into 3 or 4 novellas and calls it a series. It appears to me as a way to get more money and I do not like those type of marketing tactics. Plus, they did not have such a great attraction that I feel motivated to buy the second book.

Date with Destiny (A Billionaire Romance)

Synopsis: Heroine works for an escort service, but she is not any good at it so she is about to be fired. The Hero needs a date fast and she is the only escort available. During said date, it becomes apparent that she will be sleeping with him despite her protestations that she is not like that.**eyes rolling **

My issues with this story: (1) It was cheesy. It was a quick “Pretty Woman” if the man decided to date escort/prostitute after one date (2) What idiot man would introduce his daughter to his night escort? Really? I was really annoyed by that. Given that their relationship was supposed to be devoid of emotion, he should not have involved his child in the mix. (3) This girl worked for an escort service that was obviously providing more than just a female companion for events on date night. Where is the romance in Hero’s offer for her to be his girlfriend? Seems to me that he was trying to get his milk for free, as it were. With an ending like that, considering the fact that they really do not know each other besides the physical compatibility, she better save her money since it is highly likely that he will dump her in the future.

Granted I might be judging these stories too harshly in your opinion. I challenge you to read any of them and let me know what you think.
Agree or Disagree?

Quick and confusing love story

Love in the Maldives ♥♥

 Sandy and her friend Anne are off to Maldives for a much needed vacation. Sandy has had a rough time since she caught her ex-boyfriend cheating.

Once in Maldives, Sandy meets Paulo who is on vacation as well.

The subtitle on the book “Holiday romance where no one is quite who they say they are” did not prepare me for all the twists and turns the plot makes. Everything works out for Sandy and Paulo, but it is a fantastical story explaining how they get to that point. I could not even begin to explain without giving away the entire story.

Sandy and Paulo were likable enough characters for the story. There was not much depth, but I expected that since the book was a short novella. I finished the book in about an hour.

You have to suspend reality to imagine they would fall in love in such a short period of time. In my opinion, they did not do enough soul searching with one another to warrant a lifelong commitment. However, the whole story was fanciful.

Overall, this was a lighthearted, casual, and very contrived romance that could be finished while waiting at the doctor’s office or while travelling.