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The Perfect Hope (The Inn Boonsboro Trilogy, Band 3)
The Perfect Hope (The Inn Boonsboro Trilogy, Band 3)
von Nora Roberts
Preis: EUR 13,77

5.0 von 5 Sternen Wonderful end for a great series!, 10. November 2012
Verifizierter Kauf(Was ist das?)
You all know how it can be with high expectations. If not met they can become the worst buzz kill imaginable. And let me tell you, my expectations for this book were mile high. I've been waiting for this story since the first time Ryder made an appearance on page.
Especially this year my too high, maybe even unreasonable expectations have ruined quite a few promising books for me, so I was hopeful and anxious at the same time when I started reading.
So like I said, sometimes they can ruin everything for you, but there are rare times when those expectations simply get hit out of the ballpark because you get so much more than you could have ever imagined. "The Perfect Hope" was such an experience.
I'm not trying to build up your own expectations, but I don't think there was a chapter, scene or moment that I wasn't completely satisfied with. I simply devoured this book and loved every single second of it.
Nora Roberts included all the small and big details and events I was looking forward to, but at the same time she gave me so much more. Things I didn't even know I wanted to read about until she wrote about them.

Hope was a likable, straightforward and caring heroine who made reading this story so much more enjoyable (sometimes it's hard for me to like or relate to female characters). But it was Ryder who stole the spotlight. I don't know how Nora Roberts did it, but this surly, gruff and hardworking guy managed to come across as ridiculously sexy and adorable at the same time. His behavior towards his mother, brothers and Hope couldn't have been more different, but you could always see how much he cared for all of them. It were just his creative and often gruff ways of showing that affection that were the most entertaining and heart-warming.
Of course there were some similarities and parallels between this book and the last one in the Bride Quarte series once again, but they weren't as glaringly obvious as in "The Last Boyfriend". I still felt as if I was reading about two "new" characters, even though there was some overlapping when it came to their characterization.
Once again I fell in love with all the main and secondary characters in Roberts' series and I was especially satisfied with the way the Lizzy mystery was resolved.

But my personal highlight (apart from Ryder, of course) were the dialogues and conversations. They ranged from emotional and tense to heart-warming and hilarious. It didn't matter if they were talking (almost philosophically) about shoes, magical babies or overcoming your past and fears. This book and it's interactions just felt so refreshing and real to me, it's hard to describe. But just the fact that it got me out of a reading slump that lasted way over a month should tell you enough.
Basically all I want to say is that I adored this book and it's charming variety of characters. So if you're a fan of the series or looking for a cozy, funny, sexy and at times emotional book you HAVE to buy this.
If you are new to the series I would recommend you start at the beginning with "The Next Always", otherwise you will be missing out on some great Ryder/Hope interactions and wonderful love stories.

Delusion in Death (In Death, Book 35)
Delusion in Death (In Death, Book 35)
Preis: EUR 5,17

5 von 5 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen 4.5 stars. Lovely personal developments, but a gruesome case., 12. September 2012
Verifizierter Kauf(Was ist das?)
4 - 4.5 stars

Let me start by saying that the only reason I didn’t give „Delusion In Death“, book #35 in the „In Death“ series, five stars was because this was such a hard book for me to read. Reason for that was the murder investigation.
It’s happy hour in a popular after work bar, owned, of course, by Roarke. A fight breaks out and twelve minutes later almost everyone in that bar, more than 80 people, are dead. It’s obvious they killed each other, with bare hands, teeth, forks, broken glass or pieces of the furniture. Eve Dallas has to find out how something like that could happen and who is responsible for such a gruesome deed.

I’m bad with violence and gory scenes so this plotline was a bit hard for me to stomach. Just imagining and thinking about this horrible crime was hard enough, but on top of that J.D. Robb actually went into great detail to describe the crime scene, recovery of the bodies and examination of the corpses. So if you are a bit sensitive about things like that you should prepare yourself before you start reading this book.
While it was even darker than most of the other books in the series, it somehow felt more personal at the same time. Maybe personal isn’t the right word, but what I’m trying to say is that I can only remember a few other books where I was as invested in the hunt of the murder.

But do you want to know the most amazing thing? Throughout this entire horrible investigation J.D. Robb still managed to create scenes that made me smile. They didn’t feel inappropriate or tasteless, but were welcome and exquisitely done breathers in the middle of all those tragic events.
Then there were Roarke and Eve, of course. You can just count on them to provide heartwarming, sexy and amusing scenes. I know some readers actually think they are getting “boring” and want more drama (I simply can’t understand that!) but I like the way their relationship progressed. It feels natural and right. I just love them united, strong and secure in their love of each other.
Of course there was some friction in this book, but that’s completely understandable considering the emotional stress they were under due to this nerve-wracking case. But then their arguments and little discussions just felt like natural parts of a healthy relationship. I don’t need some overdone drama, blown completely out of proportion, just reading about the nuances and ups and downs of their “everyday life” is exciting and rewarding enough. There will be more noticeable changes and developments in their relationship when it’s time. For me there’s no need to rush.

Another of my highlights of this series that got a lot of attention in this installment of the series, are the character and relationship developments. This time we got a bit more insight into Mira and Eve’s complex relationship and it was incredibly touching. There were also some surprising, but strangely appealing scenes between Eve, Summerset and Roarke. I really like the almost fatherly connection he has to Roarke and I adore his and Eve’s bickering. This time we got to see them from a different perspective and it was still fascinating.
As the cherry on top, Robb presents us with the most adorable Bella/Eve scene. It’s so cute how Eve is slowly getting used to the little kid.
One of the things I enjoyed most about “Delusion In Death” was the fact that there were so many plot strings, personal and professional. They were connected, but at the same time they never crowded each other or took the spotlight from the investigation. J.D. Robb is especially good at that, but it somehow stood out more to me this time.

This was another great book in a formidable series, with subtle, but rewarding personal developments and a hard, brutal, but nevertheless engaging murder investigation. A must-read for fans of the series. Newcomers should start at the beginning with “Naked In Death”.

Archangel's Storm (A Guild Hunter Novel, Band 5)
Archangel's Storm (A Guild Hunter Novel, Band 5)
von Nalini Singh
Preis: EUR 7,49

8 von 8 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Dark, compelling, simply beautiful., 4. September 2012
Mahiya lives only half a live in Neha’s court. Niece of the Indian archangel and the living reminder of her consort’s betrayal. Because Mahiya’s parents are none other than Neha’s sister and Erin, consort to the archangel. Now, centuries later, Erin is dead and Neha, half-insane with grief and anger, threatens to release her power and destroy entire cities.
Jason, sent to her court to avert disaster, must find the murderer, but by doing so he has to prove his loyalty and bind himself to Mahiya, the archangel’s only remaining blood relative.

What amazes me the most about Nalini Singh, her books and especially „Archangel’s Storm“, the fifth installment in her “Guild Hunter” series, are her complex and original character constructions/developments. With a lot of authors you get the feeling that they have one male or female hero type, which they then recycle for all their books. They might give them a different hair or eye color, make them taller or smaller, but in the end it’s basically the same character. I’ve never felt like that with Nalini Singh before and I definitely haven’t felt like that while reading “Archangel’s Storm”.
Jason and Mahiya are such appealingly flawed, complex and unique characters it was a pleasure to get to know them a little bit more with every read page. Especially Jason is such an intriguing protagonist. We didn’t find out a lot about him in the previous books of the series, so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, I even had some worries that it might be too early for his own book (even though I promised never to doubt Nalini Singh again), but once again she proved to be a master of her craft. Jason stays a mystery until the end of the book, but at the same time you feel so much compassion and affection towards him. Nalini Singh did an awesome job of walking the fine line while creating his character. She manages to make him guarded, without making him appear cold, as well as give him a core of immense strength, while also showing a certain vulnerability. By the time I finished the last page of the book he was one of my favorite Singh protagonists.
Then there’s Mahiya. In the beginning of the book Neha described her as a “fragile trinket” and let me just tell you: She was wrong. Due to her heritage and the circumstances of her upbringing she has honed her talent of blending into the background, so a lot of people underestimated her, even I didn’t fully comprehend the extent of her courage, intelligence and determination. This heroine came as a bit of a surprise to me. A very pleasant one. She has a mature kind of innocence to her and although Neha has treated her with nothing but distaste, even cruelty, she managed to keep her core of compassion and… goodness. She didn’t turn bitter, actually, she refused to turn bitter and was determined to stay true to herself. Considering what was done to her it’s nothing but a miracle (at least in my opinion).

Together Jason and Mahiya were just amazing. If you’ve read (and enjoyed) this series up to this point then you know that Nalini Singh’s romantic (and other) relationships are almost a thing of art. Her gift of translating feelings and emotions into words is incredible and she used it perfectly for Jason and Mahiya.
Jason became her protector. In a world where everybody looked down on her, while Neha did everything to crush her spirit, this black winged angel respected and acknowledged her for who she truly was. He listened to her, he cared about her opinions and step by step he started to care even more for her. Mahiya might have been extremely dependent on him, but at the same time she stood her ground and refused to accept the fact that Jason seemed to stay somehow detached from the world around him. Those two characters were so right for each other, despite or maybe because of all their differences. There were so many things standing between them, their individual pasts, obstacles thrown at them from the outside, as well as Jason’s loyalty to Raphael. But still, together they became so much stronger and reading about it was simply beautiful. For me this following quote describes their relationship and interaction perfectly (this scene takes place earlier in the book, so don’t worry about spoilers):

“He was beyond fascinating. Dangerous and unpredictable and frighteningly intelligent. A threat. And yet she wanted to run her finger over the blade of him even if it made her bleed, wanted to dance too close to the flame, wanted to take a risk that could destroy her.”

The mystery part of the story was fascinating, to say the least. The hunt for Eris’ murderer, as well as a wave of additional murders, all connected to Neha, kept things interesting, even on the non-romantic level. There were so many unexpected twists and sudden plot changes and once more, as always when it comes to Singh’s plotting, I was unable to predict the outcome.

This is a haunting story, a compelling mystery plot and a love story so heartbreaking, but incredibly beautiful at the same time. The fact that I finished this book in less than a day should already tell you something. If you’re a fan of the series you simply HAVE to read it. If you’re new to Nalini Singh’s universe, start at the beginning with “Angel’s Blood”, you won’t regret it.
The fact that I have to wait a year for the next book in the series is heartbreaking as well. Quite some of the revelations and things that happened in this book made me hungry (ravenous!) for more and I’m ecstatic that Elena and Raphael will be the protagonists of the next book once more.

Kuss im Morgenrot: Roman (Hathaway-Schwestern, Band 4)
Kuss im Morgenrot: Roman (Hathaway-Schwestern, Band 4)
von Lisa Kleypas

5 von 6 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Toller Held, bezaubernde Nebencharaktere und ein mitreissender Plot, 13. August 2012
Für Lord Leo Ramsay heißt es entweder, finde eine Ehefrau und produziere einen Erben, oder, verlier das Familienanwesen in Hampshire. Und obwohl es Leo selbstverständlich widerstrebt sich endgültig an eine Frau zu binden, weckt die widerborstige und alte Jungfer Marks, die als Gouvernante für seine Schwestern arbeitet, Gefühle in ihm, die er seit dem Tod seiner Verlobten nicht mehr gespürt hat. Jetzt muss er Catherine Marks nur noch davon überzeugen, dass ihn zu heiraten keine so haarsträubende Idee ist wie sie denkt.

Dies ist der 4. Band in der mehr als nur unterhaltsamen Hathaway-Reihe und mein persönliches Highlight. Der Faktor der dieses Buch so besonders für mich gemacht hat war Leo. Wenn es tatsächlich ein Buch mit einem charmanteren und überzeugenderen Helden als ihm gibt, dann würde ich eine Menge Geld ausgeben und diese Geschichte in die Finger zu bekommen. Sein trockener und selbst-ironischer Sinn für Humor, gemeinsam mit seiner unbestreitbaren Loyalität gegenüber seiner Familie machen ihn zu einem beinahe unwiderstehlichen Charakter.
Über seine und Marks "Diskussionen" und Zankereien zu lesen war der amüsanteste Zeitvertreib seit langem. Die offensichtliche Anziehung und Spannung zwischen den beiden wird mit jeder Seite stärker und man sieht die Funken fast von den Seiten sprühen. Beide sind zuerst zwar nicht gewillt sich die Chemie und Gefühle zwischen ihnen einzugestehen, aber gerade das macht diese Liebesgeschichte zu einem besonderen Lesevergnügen. Es ist wunderschön mitanzusehen wie es für die beiden Schritt für Schritt schwerer wird sich voneinander fernzuhalten (obwohl ich zugeben muss, dass Leo sich nicht allzu viel Mühe gibt).
Obwohl Marks neben Leo ein wenig verblasst, erscheint sie als Heldin der Geschichte trotzdem sehr überzeugend. Sie ist intelligent und gutherzig, aber ihre Widerborstigkeit und Zurückhaltung was Kontakte mit anderen Personen angeht, verleihen ihr einen gewissen Charme.
Gerade bei "Kuss im Morgenrot" beweist Kleypas wie geschickt und komplex ihre Charakterdarstellungen wirklich sind.
Die beiden sind ein eigensinniges, leidenschaftliches Paar und immer ehrlich, selbst wenn die Wahrheit oft nicht leicht zu akzeptieren war. Beide sind entschlossen ihren eigenen Willen durchzusetzen, was zu einigen mehr als nur amüsanten "Unterhaltungen" führt.

Wir begeben uns mit Marks und Leo auf eine unterhaltsame Reise, überschattet von Catherines Vergangenheit, die sie schließlich doch noch einholt. Der dramatische Nebenplot um ihre Kindheit, ein überfürsorglicher Bruder und das unerwünschte Auftauchen entfernter Verwandter verleihen der Geschichte die nötige Würze und runden die Geschichte zufriedenstellend ab.

Und obwohl ich mich vollkommen damit begnügt hätte nur über Leo und Marks zu lesen, war ich trotzdem hocherfreut auch den Rest der charmanten und chaotischen Hathaway Familie wiederzutreffen. Die Art wie Kleypas diese eng verbundene und unkonventionelle Familie darstellt sorgt für einige rührende und extrem witzige Szenen.
Falls ihr gerade erst auf diese Buchreihe gestoßen seid, würde ich euch empfehlen unbedingt am Beginn, mit "Pfand der Leidenschaft" anzufangen und nicht mit diesem Buch einzusteigen. Ihr werdet es nicht bereuen die Hathaways (und vor allem Leo) vom Beginn ihrer Reise zu begleiten.
Dies war ein weiteres fantastisches Buch in einer bezaubernen Reihe, das mich selbst nach mehrmaligem Lesen noch immer begeistern kann (ich besitze die englische Ausgabe seit deren Erscheinungsdatum).

P.S.: Lasst euch bitte nicht von dem düsteren und mehr als nur kitschigen Cover und Titel abschrecken, sie sind meiner Meinung nach vollkommen unpassend für diese wundervollen Bücher.

Pushing the Limits (A Pushing the Limits Novel)
Pushing the Limits (A Pushing the Limits Novel)
Preis: EUR 1,05

2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Ultimately rewarding reading experience, 11. August 2012
Verifizierter Kauf(Was ist das?)
4 - 4.5 stars

This was an amazing, at times heartbreaking story about two lost souls finding each other. Echo and Noah (love their names, btw) were just incredible. As a pair and as individuals.
They're both in extremely hard situations, one is orphaned and fighting for the rest of his family, while the other is trying to cope with the betrayal of a loved one and loss of her brother and part of her memory. They're both miles away from being perfect, but when they are together it just doesn't matter. Following their seperate and shared paths was a beautiful experience.

I could go into more detail, but I just don't think it would give you more helpful insight into this great book. My words wouldn't be able to convey how deeply this story and its characters touched me. It's something you have to experience for yourself. But let me tell you this - "Pushing the Limits" is heartbreakingly emotional, wildly romantic and somehow manages to stay positive throughout all the turmoil the protagonist have to go through. So maybe you're wondering why I didn't give the book five stars. It's because I had one major issue with the story:

The only thing that bothered me was that the drama between Echo and Noah reminded me a bit too much of "New Moon", but thankfully without the love-triangle (-> "I'm leaving you for your own good. You'll be better off without me.") Unlike the rest of this book their reasoning just wasn't believable for me.

Apart from that I couldn't have been more delighted by this book. It isn't an easy read. It's actually emotionally exhausting at times, but ultimately rewarding. So if you think you could enjoy a story like that I would strongly recommend to order it right this second. You won't regret it.

Forever and a Day (Lucky Harbor, Band 6)
Forever and a Day (Lucky Harbor, Band 6)
von Jill Shalvis
Preis: EUR 5,99

4 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Three's the charm, 10. August 2012
Verifizierter Kauf(Was ist das?)
4.5 - 5 stars

Dr. Josh Scott isn't desperate. Well, not exactly. He's just in desperate need of... something. He's working crazy hours in the ER and his own practice, his son that he is raising on his own, stopped talking and took up barking instead and then there's his paralyzed, angry sister living with him. And to top it all off his house is now harboring the most ill-behaved pug on the planet, also known as the Antichrist.
What he really needs is help, so hiring Grace to babysit and walk the satanic canine seemed like a good idea at the time.
Grace is still trying to figure out what to do with her life because pleasing her parents just might not be good enough anymore. She figures that walking a little dog can't be too hard, but by accepting the dog she's taking on way more than she bargained for. Because risking her heart was never part of the plan...

"[...] And I love them all." Grace heard the words, then clapped a hand over her mouth. "What is that? Why does that word keep slipping out?"
"It's because love is one of those really bossy bitches," Amy said. "There's no telling it what to do."

Well, they do say that three's the charm, but due to the fact that the main character was a doctor I never thought that this would come true for me with Jill Shalvis's third book in her "Lucky Harbor/Chocoholics" series. I was wrong. "Forever And A Day" was simply irresistable. ;) I loved "Lucky In Love" and enjoyed "At Last", but it was the last installment of the series that took the (cup)cake for me.
This was a lovely, sexy story with an enjoyably relaxed pace, despite all the entertaining chaos that happens in the small town of Lucky Harbor. What made this book so special were the two main characters and the incredible chemistry between them.

Grace was such a likeable character. Her interactions with Toby, Josh's son were truly touching, but it was the way Grace handled Josh's rebellious, paralyzed sister that made her my favorite Shalvis heroine so far.
Then there's Josh. Sexy, wonderful, adorably stressed Josh. Talk about favorite characters. He and Sawyer are fighting for the number one spot in my heart and although Sawyer is a badass cop with a gun, it actually might be the hunky doctor that will come out on top. And that's quite a feat because I don't think I've ever actually liked a doctor as a hero. And I didn't just like Josh - I completely adored him.
He was a compelling main character. He genuinely wanted to help people, but despite his crazy work hours you never doubted that his family came first, even if it took him some time to figure it out himself. But the best (or at least most amusing) thing about him was how clueless he was about what to do about the energetic bundle called Grace. Oh, he thought he had her all figured out, but he could do nothing to stop her from charming her way into his slightly cynic heart. Watching those two stumble along was priceless.

Hands down, this was my favorite Shalvis love story. I enjoyed myself from the get-go. And a very big plus (for me) was the slower build up. At least it was slow for Jill Shalvis. It was still sexy as hell because the attraction and heat was coming off every page, but the way she strung those two along was a delicious reading experience in itself!

I'm delighted that this isn't the end of the "Lucky Harbor" series and I'm really looking forward to the next installments. I would recommend this book to everyone who enjoys a quick, sexy and sweet story about finding your place in life and discovering love in unexpected places.

So Into You (The Jane Austen Academy Book 2) (English Edition)
So Into You (The Jane Austen Academy Book 2) (English Edition)

4.0 von 5 Sternen Cute continuation of the series, 22. Juli 2012
"Jane Austen always felt out of her element. Her stories are about characters bound by the situations they are in - until they're finally set free. You... me... haven't you always felt you didn't fit in anyplace else? Until you came here? Aren't you finally free?"

Ellie's in trouble. Big trouble. Her parents want to leave for Guatemala and they want to take her with them, but Ellie doesn't want to leave the Acedemy. She doesn't want to leave her friends and she especially doesn't want to leave funny, cute Edward. Because Ellie is sure that he cares for her just as much as she cares for him, right? RIGHT?

With "So Into You" Cecilia Gray was at a disatvantage from the start. The reason for that is the fact that I just don't like "Sense and Sensibility" very much. It's the mother of all love-triangles and God knows I hate those with a passion. "So Into You" is the second book in the "Jane Austen Acedemy" series and a modern retelling of my least favorite Austen novel. But I loved "Fall For You", book one of the series, so I just had to read "SIY" as soon as I got my fingers on it.
And Cecilia Gray did the unthinkable, she did what Jane Austen was unable to do - she made me enjoy the plot of "Sense and Sensibility".
I'm not quite sure how she did it, but a big part of it was definitely her loving way of presenting her characters. None of them are perfect, some are arrogant, oblivious, or completely unable to make a decision (hello there, Edward), some are even downright obnoxious. But there's something charming about every single one of them. Gray's characters are so full of life, hope and dreams, it's a pleasure to read about them, even if they do something stupid or something I don't agree with.

Ellie and Edward were the perfect example for that. I wanted to shake them throughout 50% of the book, but at the same time it was so much fun to watch them stumble along. They had to overcome some serious obstacles, but you just knew how much they cared for each other and I was sure that things would turn out to be okay (you will do so as well, even if you don't know how "Sense and Sensibility" ends).

I just wish the ending would have been longer. The entire book is full of high-drama and there were only so few pages where everything was finally right. I felt like Ellie and Edward deserved a bit more happy times together, but I was satisfied with the way the drama was resolved, so I'm not too upset about the abrupt ending.
And of course there were minor things I had some trouble with, but that mostly had to do with the love triangle (but for once it didn't annoy me too much) and the undecisiveness of one male who should not be named.

If you enjoyed "Fall For You" or "Sense and Sensibility" you will do the same with this installment of the series. "So Into You" is a cute and quick read and not just for fans of Jane Austen.

At Last (A Lucky Harbor Novel, Band 5)
At Last (A Lucky Harbor Novel, Band 5)
von Jill Shalvis
Preis: EUR 7,49

1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Predictable and predictably good, 12. Juli 2012
Verifizierter Kauf(Was ist das?)
"There were certain things she knew for sure. When in doubt, eat chocolate. When stressed, eat chocolate. When in doubt AND stressed, eat chocolate. Especially when that doubt and stress were related to a man and her feelings for said man."

Amy Michaels came to Lucky Harbor to find peace and maybe hope. It worked for her grandmother many years ago, so why shouldn't it work for her as well? What Amy hasn't been looking for was Matt aka "Ranger Hot Buns". He's trouble and that's the last thing she needs. But then she has never been especially good at making the right choices...

If you read and loved the other books in the Lucky Harbor series then you will love "At Last" as well. Jill Shalvis came up with another sexy, funny and at times heart-warming story, that will brighten your day just a little bit more.
For the most part this book was very drama-free (not boring, though), if a bit predictable. That's not a bad thing, I'm just saying that it pretty much follows the path of the other books in the series.
Still not a bad thing because if there's one thing Jill Shalvis is especially good at then it's creating crazy chemistry between her main characters. The attraction between Amy and Matt was off the charts and I had a lot of fun watching those two resist falling in love with each other. And resist they did, let me tell you that. They both had a rough past that made them more than a little bit suspicious of trust and love, so the story of the book basically revolves around them overcoming those fears and learning to trust each other.
I think Jill Shalvis did a good job. She constructed a solid story, believable background stories and I never felt like she was stringing them along just to lenghten her book. The developments all felt very natural, even though I wish the author would take a bit more time to let her characters jump into bed with each other. I like it when an author uses a slow (even very slow) buildup, but everyone who read one of Shalvis's books before knows they won't get one of those.

There was a little sub-plot about a troubled teenager that I thought was very well done as well. The portrait of the defiant, lost girl felt realistic and I was rooting for her from the beginning.

A predictable, but nevertheless good and fast read that made me exited for the next book in the series "Forever A Day", Josh and Grace's story.

My Life Next Door
My Life Next Door
von Huntley Fitzpatrick
  Gebundene Ausgabe
Preis: EUR 16,73

1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Romantic, positive and uplifting - despite the drama, 19. Juni 2012
Rezension bezieht sich auf: My Life Next Door (Gebundene Ausgabe)
4.5 - 5 stars

"One thing my mother never knew and would disapprove of most of all was that I watched the Garretts. All the time. [...] The Garretts were my bedtime story, long before I ever thought I'd be part of the story."

Samantha doesn't have the easiest life. Her mother is in politics, as well as a bit of neat and control freak, she vacuums the floor every day - twice - she sets an eleven o'clock curview for summer holidays and organizes her daughters' summer scedules so they don't was too much time on trivial things. Apart from that there has been a weird tension between Sam and her best friend and she has no clue how to fix it.
Enter the Garretts, her next door neighbors. They are everything her familiy isn't - loud, happy, sometimes a bit out of control, but always affectionate with each other. Sam watches them from afar, imagining a life she has never known, but then, one night, Jase Garrett visits her on her balcony and changes her life in a way she hadn't even dreamed of.

"The Garretts were forbidden from the start. But that's not why they were important."

I'm not even sure why, but the beginning of the book, just those two sentences, made a huge impression on me. A wealth of meaning is burried in there and you know there are complicated, but beautiful things ahead of you. And boy, have I been right on the money with that prediction....

This was such a touching book about growing up, falling in love and making choices that will effect the rest of your life.
I found myself smiling happily so often wihle reading this book, which honestly suprised me. After reading the synopsis I kind of expected a drama and angst-filled story, but even though there is quite a bit of drama it's still a very positive book.

Samantha and Jase were a wonderful pair. I'm not sure where to start without ending up gushing and rambling, but let me just tell you a bit about those two.
The author really took her time with developing the relationship between Samantha and Jase - which I LOVED. But then I checked and realised that I had only finished a quarter of the book when they started getting serious - it had felt like so much more. But not in a why-isn't-there-some-interesting-development way, but simply because I was so completely engrossed in the story.
They were friends long before they became a pair and I wasn't in a hurry to see them together because I just knew that they would be great together and getting there was a rewarding journey on its own.

"Maybe he isn't attracted to me at all? Maybe he just wants to be friends? I'm not sure I can pull off being just friends with someone whose clothes I want to rip off."

It was just so entertaining to watch them, but particularly Samantha stumble along, unable to keep her thoughts in check. Especially since she was so shocked and suprised by herself. She was a nice girl - not the boring, timid version - just really nice. She was funny, a real smartass, loyal and had a solid moral code.

"But I like beeing Sam. I like being Jase's Sam. It sounds relaxed, easygoing, competent. I want to be that person."

Jase was such a sweetie (and a hottie!). He got this amazingly relaxed, but competent attitude - I guess that's the way to cope if you have seven silblings - and his straightforward and no-nonsense personality made me smile more than just once. He was extremely loyal to his family, responsible with his younger brothers and sisters, but at the same time he had an easiness to him that made it impossible for me to do anything but love him.

"Wow. I've never met a boy, at school or anywhere, who cut through the small talk so quickly."

To me it felt as if Jase and Sam just found each other, like two puzzle pieces finally fitting together - they were just that in sync.
I just adored how they were so obviously good for each other. Jase (and his delightful family) brought some much needed lightness and affection into Sam's life, while she kind of grounded him, like he was finally able to stop looking for something just out of his grasp.

But what I loved most about this book were the Garretts - the whole rowdy bunch of them. Joel, Alice, Jase, Harry, Duffy, Andy, George, Patsy the baby, as well as their loving parents. Just reading about their warming interactions within the family as well as with Samantha left me feeling extremely content, if still a bit envious.
But while there was so much love going around, I really appretiated that it wasn't all just roses and butterflies. The author also wrote about the problems with big families like that - money, ensuing chaos, little privacy and the lack of attention the individual sometimes gets within such a crowd.

"They are the best thing I've got, but they can be a little" - he pauses, as though searching for a definition - "overwhelming."

In stark contrast to that stood Sam's mother, Grace, senator and control freak.

"The longest conversations I have with her are by text, as she let's me know she's at a cookout, clam broil, ribbon cutting, fund raising harbor cruise, union meeting... whatever. She even falls behind on her vacuuming, leaving Post-it notes directing me to pick up the slack."

This describes her pretty well. All that's missing is the drama she loves to heap on her daughters. Like when she told them they couldn't miss a step and cause her stress or they would ruin her campaign and ruin her life.
She was responsible for the big blow-up in the final stages of the book and it was just so frustrating I wanted to shake all the parties involved (especially Samatha and her mother). There was no excuse for her mother, but then I started to think and realised that it was such a hard, almost impossible situation for Sam. She had to choose between her family and her first love. I was satisfied with the final conclusion, though. Not everything was clear-cut, there were some shades of grey, but Samatha stood up for what she really wanted and reading about it felt just great and uplifting.

A wonderful book that exceeded all my expectations - positive, wildly romantic and full of rewarding moments.

North of Need (Heart of the Anemoi Book 1) (English Edition)
North of Need (Heart of the Anemoi Book 1) (English Edition)

3.0 von 5 Sternen A too nice and bland hero, 18. Juni 2012
Verifizierter Kauf(Was ist das?)
3.5 stars

It's been two years since Megan lost her husband in a car crash on Christmas Eve and she hasn't been the same ever since. But this year a Christmas miracle is waiting for her.
Owen, a god of snow and winter came to earth to bring her happiness, but only Megan's love and acceptance can make him humand and keep him grounded to earth.
Owen needs the cold to keep his corporal form, but spring winds are coming their way, sent by the wrath of a fellow spring god and now time is running out for both of them.

Quote: "I know what this sounds like, Megan, but I was sent here. For you." He released a deep breath. "A Christmas gift, of sorts."

"North of Need" was an okay book for me. While I really liked the idea of a series about gods that represent and influence the seasons, I wasn't completely satisfied with the final outcome.
The biggest problem I had with this book was the ungodly amount of sappiness - and not always the good kind. While I can do (and even like) sappy in measured doses "North of Need" was just too much.

Quote: "When they were together, her attention and concern made him feel like the center of her universe. He might have been a god, but he'd never before felt so important."

I had the same problem with Owen, the book's hero. He was a truly good guy. Hot as sin, sexy, funny, considerate and with a good heart, but to me he was just a bit too perfect. There were no - ZERO - rough edges, it was almost as if he didn't even possess a temper. He was never angry or unreasonable. He didn't do fights or even discussions. Which was why, despite his hotness, he turned out to be a bit of a bland character.
Apart from the fact that he loved to play in the snow and eat ice cream - hello, snow god - I couldn't detect much of a personality. He was nice and extremely good-looking, but that's it.

Quote: "So, good with languages, shovels and igloos. Anything else?" The smug look he tossed at her was so wicked it shivered right down her spine. Walked right into that one, hadn't she."

Megan, on the other hand, was a more believable and likable heroine. She was full of doubts and insecurities, which is no wonder considering what happened to her, but at the same time there was a strength to her that appealed to me. She was a worrier and the fact that she lost her husband left some big scares, but in the end it didn't stop her from going after what she wanted.

Quote: "I guess I'm a worrier." Suddenly she froze. "Oh, hell, I've turned into my mother."

To sum it up, if you are looking for edgier paranormal romances I would recommend you keep your hands off this book, but if you like your stories sappy, sweet and mostly drama-free - go for it.

I'll still go on with the series, though, since the hero of the next books seems to be a bit more hard edged - it's Zephyros, the spring god that caused all those troubles for Owen and Megan.


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