Monday, March 16, 2015

The Idea of Love

I received an advance copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to NetGalley and to the publisher! 

This book is about Ella Flynn and Blake Hunter. Both have secrets they want to hide from each other. Blake is a movie screenplay writer who is posing as a travel book author. He is pretending to write a book about the Low Country when in reality he is looking for an over the top love story to use as a movie idea. He is desperate because his last two movies were failures at the box office. 

Enter Ella Flynn. Blake sees Ella and is immediately drawn to her. She begins to tell him about her sleepy, southern town of Watersend and also tells him about the love of her life, Sims. Ella tells Blake a tale of how Sims tragically died in a boating accident, but it's not true. Blake sees an opportunity for a story and jumps.

I am not giving any spoilers here, but I bet you can see where this is going. I saw it from a mile away. 

First let it be known that I am a Patti Callahan Henry fan. I loved Driftwood Summer and several others. 

While I give any book credit strictly on the basis of holding my attention to the end, that is as much as I will give this one. I was disappointed. Not only could I see the entire plot line of the story in the first two chapters, I felt the entire book was SO rushed. 

For example, I am sure I am not giving anything away by saying Blake and Ella are attracted to each other eventually. However, in the beginning, Ella is so devastated by the loss of her marriage that I found it totally head scratching at the total turn around she does so quickly. The way she was practically crippled with grief one second and madly in love with someone else in just a few weeks seemed really far fetched. 

The other thing I found irritating was some of the descriptions the author used. One was during a kiss when right in the middle, Ella "thought of the word cashmere." Really? Two was how when describing the way Blake was looking at his daughter and it was described that her cheeks were like two plums. Finally, a couple times throughout the book, Ella was described in Blake's thoughts as "adorable." I don't like to think of a grown man thinking of a grown woman as "adorable." Sounds very sophomoric. Maybe it's just me. 

Again, while it kept my interest enough to finish it, it felt very forced, hurried, and just kind of unbelievable as a whole. However, again, I am very grateful for the opportunity that NetGalley provided me in giving the advance copy. 

Sunday, March 8, 2015

The Love of My Life by Louise Douglas

This book gave me mixed emotions. But, I really did enjoy it. Thanks to NetGalley who graciously gave me a copy in exchange for an honest review! 

Olivia recently lost her husband, Luca, in a tragic car accident. Olivia is not exactly comforted by Luca's family due to his and Olivia's history. I don't want to give away the whole story here, but suffice to say, Olivia is not exactly the model daughter in law. 

However, I don't think that gives Luca's family the right to treat her the way they do. 

Olivia also had a hard time in her past with an overbearing, uncaring mother. In this respect I felt bad for her, but I can't say I drummed up a lot of sympathy for her except for the loss of her husband. Some of her choices left me scratching my head. But, now, as I write this blog, I guess we have all made choices that weren't the best, especially in times of grief.

 This story bounced back and forth between Olivia's past and present but in a good way! I know a lot of people don't like "flashbacks" but this author did a great job of describing Olivia's past and merging the present together. 

The best part for me, was when Olivia finally takes charge and stands up to Luca's family. I won't tell you why or how, but suffice to say, it was nice to see Olivia come into her own and defend herself. 

Well, on to the next book. I enjoyed this enough to look for another book by this author.