Sunday, June 14, 2009

Hilcia's Weekly Reads

This has been a long week for me. Lots of work, exhaustion and battling bad weather hasn't allowed for much.  I did manage to finish reading a few books, although I only managed to review a couple of them. No time, no energy or gray cells left-over. :)

Started my week by reading Just One of the Guys by Kirsten Higgins, contemporary romance, reviewed here. A mixed bag for me, enjoyed most of the book but not the romance. Continued by reading and also reviewed Silent Blade by Ilona Andrews, a short story I absolutely loved! Sci-fi/Futuristic romance, well written and developed, this short story really made my week. *g*

Touched by Light by Catherine Spangler, a paranormal romance from a favorite author was my next pick. A book that I've been looking forward to reading and one I would like to review for Musings later on this week. 

Finished reading A Bride in the Bargain by Deeane Gist, an inspirational historical romance set in the Washington Territory during the Civil War. We highlighted it in our June 2009 Releases post and it was one of my picks for the month. I don't usually read inspirational books, this is a first. It caught my attention because of the setting and the plot.

I love Seattle, Washington. It's one of my favorite places and this is set during the 1860's. Ms. Gist uses historical facts to weave this romance -- quite a few of the characters in the book are based on people who existed during those times and all the newspaper clippings in the book are also taken from archives. Joe Denton needs a bride to keep his land and Ana Ivey is destitute and an orphan from Granby, Massachussetts. She becomes one of the Mercer girls. A woman, who together with 299 other women, war widows and orphans went West to marry or work after signing contracts with Mr. Mercer. Joe thinks he paid $300.00 for a bride. Ana thinks she paid $50.00 to work as a cook to Joe and his crew of lumberjacks. They were both deceived by Mr. Mercer.

I think I really enjoyed the setting and how well the research was done in this book more than anything else. Joe and Ana were a nice couple and I really enjoyed most of their interactions while she was staying in his home. He is a nice, lonely man who loves his land above all, but who obviously needs Ana in more ways than one. She is a young woman, 19 years old, who lost her whole family and is full of guilt and regret. Ana is what I call a plucky girl that won't back down but who still needs to grow up.

I grew impatient towards the last quarter of the book with Ana and later when the author decided to throw more obstacles in their path. The last dramatic obstacle definitely felt contrived and unnecessary and it took away from my enjoyment of the book as a whole. 

Still reading Perdido Street Station by China Mieville. It's a fascinating book -- slow going but one that I can't seem to put away. Interesting characters, world, plot and writing style. I'd love to finish this book this weekend. 

Next week I'll be picking up whatever strikes my mood. 

Not too bad for me, although not the best. How was your reading week? Any good reads?


  1. You're right, what a cute setup on that BRIDE IN THE BARGAIN.

  2. Hi CJ. Yes, it sounded cute and interesting enough to make me want to read it. It was refreshing to read a historical romance that's not a Georgian or a Victorian, lol! Although I do enjoy those as well... :)

  3. Oh, I've had Perdido Street Station, and China Mieville on my radar for ages, and haven't yet tried him. Really looking forward to seeing what you think!

    So glad to see good things about Silent Blade. I've been wanting to get to that, too!

  4. I read 2 books this week ^_^; but then, I was busy... I really enjoyed both books I read and will probably review them later this week.

    Can't wait to see what you think of the Catherine Spangler... Hmmm, Kristie had two books of hers.

  5. Renee, I've had this book for quite a while and I'm finally getting to it. It took his new release to get me started on it. Fascinating so far. Hope you enjoy Silent Blade.

    nath, you read 2 books while having all that fun? You're good! :)
    I wonder which series Kristie has... my favorite series by Spangler is her Sci-fi/Romance series. It's old by now, but good!

  6. I have Just One of the Guys and 2 different friends have said they loved it. I'll have to see what I think...maybe this week.

    I was all set to pick up A Bride in the Bargain but at the last minute decided against it. I'm not normally an inspirational reader either but checked out the excerpt. IDK the heroine just didn't seem like someone I could relate to.

    I can't wait to hear what you have to say about the Spangler.

  7. Tracy One of the Guys was really fun! The writing is excellent, the humor is great and now that I know what to expect from Kristan Higgins, I'll probably enjoy her books. I was expecting something different when I read it.

    A Bride in the Bargain was generally a good solid read. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it (not being an inspirational romance reader). It was also well written and researched. I found the heroine very interesting, although a bit frustrating. That last obstacle I mentioned was a downer for me -- but both (I think) have to do with the fact that this is an inspirational and my POV might be skewed.

    I feel that the points the author was attempting to make were unnecessary and a bit over the top. From an inspirational POV, this might be seen differently. :)

  8. LOL, actually no... I read two books before getting Kristie's :P

    Kristie had the two first books in this series - Touched by... only thing is that she hadn't read it yet, so she couldn't offer me her opinion. I don't know, I'm a bit put off by the covers, that's why I haven't picked it up yet. Did you review the first 2?

  9. nath, I didn't review the first two books in this series. I can tell you that I personally liked them. I didn't LOVE them the way I love her Sci-fi Romance series.

    I do believe Leslie reviewed the first two books. You might get an idea as to content from her reviews. :)

  10. What is her sci-fi romance series then? I thought this was it LOL :P

  11. Sorry, nath... this is her paranormal series.

    Her Sci-fi/Romance series is called the "Shielder" series and it includes the following books, in order:
    Shadow Crossings
    Shadow Fires

    Hope that helps to clarify the confusion. I referred to it on my last Weekly Reads post and posted a link to amazon for this series. Note: All her covers are a real hoot! Please don't judge the books by the covers, lolol!

  12. Thanks Hilcia :)

    Wow, I just took a quick look online and she seems to be a very popular author... Her books are all sold out on Chapters (Canadian version of Barnes and Noble) ^_^;... ah well.

  13. nath, I bought her Shielder series from USB stores or 3rd party sellers, (won't tell you what I paid for Shadow Crossings, lol) except for the last one. VERY popular series. :)