Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Gift of Love - Lori Foster


Families come in many configurations, and every one is unique, made up of the personalities of each member. But the love that connects families is universal. Whether it is the love of parents for their children, the love between a husband and wife, the love between siblings, a love that transcends generations, or even the love for a family member never met, the family ties that bind us are the strongest and deepest emotional connections we experience. Families influence a person's development, how they treat others, and how they view life. In The Gift of Love, eight exceptional writers offer a variety of unique perspectives on what family love means and how it impacts our lives in ways profound and often surprising.


Cole's Review:

Can I tell you how much I loved this book?!?!  It was so good.  Really, my only regret is that some of the stories are so short.  Almost half of the eight vignettes would make fabulous full length books.

Because each story is so short, it's a little hard to give you plot points on all of them without giving away the entire story but I'll try.

For The Love of Wendy - The tale of Jack a widowed father, as he realizes that he loves Brianna - his daughter Wendy's caretaker.

Ava's Haven - Olivia made some mistakes in her youth.  Now she runs a shelter and runs into the man that broke her heart but could be the one to piece it back together.

Atticus Gets A Mommy - Keenan is quadriplegic who makes his way through life with the help of Atticus his rhesus monkey.  He loves Diana but believes she deserves a "whole" man - something he doesn't believe he is.

The Redemption of Brodie Grant - Brodie comes back to town to attend his sister's wedding to a man he loathes.  Instead he finds himself attracted to the groom's sister.

The Wolf Watcher's Diet - Ella gets in a car accident and finds herself getting grabbed by a man.  A "big dog" rushes in to save her but accidentally bites her.  It turns out that this big dog is actually a wolf; a man she teaches with, named Luke.

A Fairy Precious Love - Honeysuckle lost her wings to a fairy blight, and must find a way to exist without them.

Second Time Around - Serena is a high school teacher who has her childhood crush, Heath's son in her class.  Heath had a bright future he gave up to become a single dad, but still can't forget Serena. 

The only thing that kept me from giving this book an "A" was the aforementioned desire to see full length versions of some of these stories.  While these stories were great - they lacked some of the detail that I wanted.

Grade: B

Hope In A Jar - Beth Harbison


From the New York Times bestselling author of Shoe Addicts Anonymous and Secrets of a Shoe Addict comes a tale of old friends, new loves, and the undeniable power of a little face cream.

Twenty years ago, Allie Denty was the pretty one and her best friend, Olivia Pelham, was the smart one. Throughout high school, they were inseparable . . . until a vicious rumor about Olivia---a rumor too close to the truth---ended their friendship.

Now, on the eve of their twentieth high school reunion, Allie finds herself suddenly single, a little chubby, and feeling old. Olivia, successful beauty editor in New York, realizes she’s lonely, and that she’s finally ready to face her demons.

Sometimes hope lives in the future; sometimes it comes from the past; and sometimes, when every stupid thing goes wrong, it comes from a prettily packaged jar filled with scented cream and promises.

Beth Harbison has done it again. A hilarious and touching novel about friendship, Love’s Baby Soft perfume, Watermelon Lip Smackers, bad run-ins with Sun-In, and the healing power of “Gee Your Hair Smells Terrific.” Hope in a jar: We all need it.

Cole's Review:
This book was a quick read, and you just couldn't help but have flashbacks to your own high school experience - the pretty girls, the smart girls...and the MEAN girls.
Allie's reunion is coming quickly and she is falling apart.  In order to help her boyfriend build his career, she's forsaken her own in favor of temp jobs; she's not enjoying her body image and then she comes home to find her boyfriend in bed with someone else!!  Her ex-best friend Olivia has moved beyond her rough childhood and become a beauty editor in NYC - who has come to realize that she has nothing she wants out of life.
Allie and Olivia's mutual friend Noah convinces them both to come to their 20th high school reunion - and the hijinks really begin when they try and stop Noah from doing something that they believe would ruin his life.
Grab this book and enjoy the last few "beach" days of the year.
Grade: B