I’ve pretty much figured out that I fail at TBR 2010 Summer Edition. It’s not that I haven’t been reading, it’s just that I haven’t been reading anything with an eye to reviewing it. Some books I know I will review as soon as I start reading it and others are just too much work. I have a degree in English and since I got it, I really don’t have to care about the whys and what it all meant. Sometimes I do, but other times it boils down to this: Did I like it? Enough to read it again? Buy multiple copies and pass them out? Just throw it in the donation bag?
If you haven’t figured it out by now, I don’t have a TBR book read for today. What I do have, though, is A Bunch of Harlequins!
The Family Plan by Susan Gable. Harlequin Super Romance. July 2010. I like Susan Gable’s books; they deal with families that begin through less than traditional methods, such as surrogacy and donors. This title features chiropractor Amelia Young, who 13 years ago used donor sperm to conceive her daughter Jordan. Now Jordan needs a bone marrow transplant, and Amelia finds chef Finn Hawkins to beg him to donate again. Finn is willing to help Amelia, and we find that his youngest brother suffered from leukemia. Amelia accepts and disappears from Finn’s life, but Jordan has decided that she wants to know her dad and runs away to meet him. This leads to Amelia and Finn being forced to hammer out a sometimes uneasy relationship between themselves.
Both Amelia and Finn have reason to be leery of relationships, but watching them dance around each other got frustrating at times. Okay, watching Amelia dance around while constantly rebuffing Finn and then blaming him for the results got old fast, and lasted until the last two chapters.
Dakota Cowboy by Linda Ford. Love Inspired Historical July 2010. Lucy Hall is waiting tables when Wade Miller comes into her restaurant and orders the Starving Bachelor Special. He’s on a mission from Lucy’s estranged father, Scout, who might be dying and wants to see Lucy again. An angry Lucy want s no part of him, and she lives with the memories of Scout ignoring her, leaving her mother unmarried, and finally not attending her funeral when Lucy was 16. Howeve0r, before Wade can leave town, Lucy witnesses a murder and must hide from the killer, who knows what she saw. Suddenly Scout’s ranch isn’t such a bad place to be. Lucy, Wade, and a second witness, an orphan named Roy, leave for Scout’s ranch, where Roy and Scout immediately bond, again leaving Lucy an outsider, and Wade feeling helpless to change anything.
I really liked Lucy and Wade. They each had similar pasts: orphaned childhood and never feeling good enough. What was interesting was that Wade was the person who kept pushing a brooding, damaged Lucy to reconcile with her father, while Lucy was stoic and silent. Wade does quite a bit of mental hand-wringing before accepting that maybe he doesn’t know best.
The Patchwork Bride by Jillian Hart. Love Inspired Historical, August 2010. Meredith Worthington and her wealthy family moved to Montana to care for an injured relative in a previous book and never left. The only reason I can think for this to happen is so that Meredith’s mother can feel like a big fish in the small pond that is Montana high society.
As the book opens, Meredith is driving the buggy and gotten the horse stuck in the mud. She is very distraught because now her mother will use this against her in her quest to become a teacher. Meredith and her spunky younger sister get rescued by Shane Connelly, the apprentice to the new horse trainer her father hired. This took two or three chapters. Mother notices how muddy Meredith is and tells Shane that she can no longer drive the buggy. 18-year-old Meredith gets to the one-room schoolhouse the next morning and her 18 year-old best friends (who appear to be getting their own books) stand around and talk about Shane and the teaching exam, and then do battle with Narcissa, the Mean Girl who knows a secret about Shane. In a moment of reflection, Meredith calls herself a loser. In 1884.
All books are available in print and ebook at eHarlequin.