Face the Fire, Nora Roberts
Seven Up, Janet Evanovich
Shopgirl, Steve Martin
Feeling Sorry for Celia, Jaclyn Moriarty
Jemima J, Jane Green
Even though I've got a proposal for As
Bad As Can Be due on my editor's desk in just a couple of
weeks, I couldn't help but scrounge the time to read the final book
in the Three Sisters Trilogy.
hundred years before the trilogy begins, a trio of witches fled
the Salem witchcraft trials to form their own haven of safety off
the coast of Massachusetts. It was not the shelter they'd hoped,
however, and one by one each perished through a key failure of character
-- she who was Air lacked courage, she who was Earth lacked control,
she who was Fire lacked the faith to let her lover choose freely.
Fast forward to the modern day. As the three-hundred-year protection
spell cast by Fire before her death nears its end, three witches
gather on the island. In the previous two novels of the series,
Dance on Air and Heaven and Earth, the modern-day
Air and Earth each face their demons and win, finding the courage
and finding the control to rewrite the past. In Face the Fire,
Fire's counterpart Mia Devlin seeks to join with her sisters to
banish forever the evil that threatens their home and their happiness.
been a Nora Roberts fan since her category days. I really enjoyed
the first two books in the series, but I had a hard time getting
into Face the Fire at first. Perhaps it was the dominance
of the paranormal theme compared to the previous two books. When
the story took hold of me, though, boy did it take hold. It was
exciting, suspenseful, and, I admit it, had me sniffling at bit
at the end. It's definitely a book worth reading. (top)
Okay, so I have this little quirk, which is that I hate reading
hard bound books, especially for pleasure reading. Hard bound books
are heavy and bulk with dustcovers you have to be careful of, stiff
spines, and pokey, sharp corners that dig into your lap when you're
reading. They also cost way too much to accidentally drop into the
water while you're reading in the bath. With the exception of Diana
Gabaldon's Voyager, I have always made myself wait until the paperback
comes out. Which is why you're reading my paen to Janet Evanovich's
Seven Up instead of Hard Eight.
let me just say, Janet Evanovich is god. Her Stephanie Plum series
is rip-snortingly funny, constantly surprising, and steamy as hell.
(Pssst. Forget about Morelli, Steph, get your hooks into Ranger).
In Seven Up, bounty hunter Stephanie Plum is once again on
the case, this time trying to find a retired hitman who is also
her grandmother's ex-boyfriend. Meanwhile, she's trying to figure
out why the prospect of marriage to Morelli isn't rowing her boat,
she's trying to find a couple of high school buds who have gone
mysteriously missing, her mother's dragging her into Tina's Bridal
Salon to look at wedding gowns, and tall, dark, handsome bad boy
Ranger is doing every thing he can to get her into bed. Evanovich
just gets better and better every time. (top)
I picked this up out of curiosity and found myself with a luminous
surprise. Mirabelle is an anachronism, the glove girl at Neiman's.
She's overlooked by shoppers heading to the couture and makeup departments,
and overlooked by her friends, who consider her too shy. The men
who don't overlook her, like amplifier salesman Jeremy, are generally
clumsy and callow, so Mirabelle passes the days not expecting much,
managing her clinical depression, and occasionally sliding into
her true calling as an artist to turn out sensitively rendered drawings.
Then Ray Porter springs into her life, bringing a breeze of romance
and lust and excitement. But Ray doesn't know what he wants and
doesn't understand that he has the capacity to hurt
writes lovely, spare prose that is insightful and moving in its
brevity, and ultimately uplifting. He has an understanding of people,
their motivations, and their self-delusions that is remarkable.
It makes sense -- achieving success as a comedian requires observing
people, understanding their foibles, their strengths, and their
Sorry for Celia,
For high schooler Elizabeth, life is a misery. She feels like a
misfit, has no boyfriend, only communicates with her mother via
notes on the refrigerator, and her best friend Celia has disappeared.
through an interchange of notes between Elizabeth and her cross-town
penpal, as well as letters from imaginary groups like the Association
of Teenagers, the Cold Hard Truth Association, and the Society of
People Who Are Definitely Going to Fail High School, this incredibly
clever book is funny, poignant, wise, and uplifting. And some of
it is a laugh-riot, such as Elizabeth's advertising exec mother
who's always leaving her notes looking for inspiration: "While
you're at school today, why don't you ask your friends what they
think of purple lipstick? Explain to your friends that your mother
may lose her job if she doesn't think of something good to say about
purple lipstick very soon." (top)
Jemima Jones is 100 pounds overweight, working in a deadend job
at the Kilburn Herald, lonely, and secretly in love with gorgeous
colleague Ben Williams. Then she discovers the Internet, which is
the beginning of a stunning transformation that finds her thin,
beautiful, and jetting off halfway around the globe to meet a stranger
in California. But nothing is what it seems in this updated riff
on Cinderella. You'll root for Jemima, a sassy, smart, hip heroine.
If you want feel-good entertainment, pick this one up.
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