Tag: Colleen Kwan

What I Read Last Week

Posted December 28, 2012 by Tracy in Features | 4 Comments

I know I’m completely out of sync this week – for understandable reasons – but I couldn’t go an entire week without doing this post!

I hope you all had a great Christmas. Mine was really nice. On Sunday we went up to my hubby’s parents house and had a Christmas celebration with his parents, one of his 2 brothers and his family. We had a great dinner and then went to see a kind of light show at a local zoo and it was darned cool. Then we went to services on Christmas Eve and they were really great. Christmas morning the kids actually slept in til 9am!!! That just rocked as far as I was concerned since they’re normally up at like 5:30am. Lol Later that day my parents and then my brother and niece came over and we had a nice dinner then opened gifts. It was just a really fun day and since it was the last with my parents for a while it was especially nice.

Ok, so on to what I read last week:

I started off the week with Timber Creek by Veronica Wolff. This is book 2 in the Sierra Falls series and though I liked the first one this one just wasn’t as good for me. The heroine of the book rubbed me the wrong way and though I loved the hero he just couldn’t make up for the heroine’s shortcomings. You can read my full review here at The Book Binge. 2.5 out of 5

Next was The Seduction of Elliot McBride by Jennifer Ashley. This is another book in the Highland Pleasures series and gives us Elliot McBride and the woman he’s been in love with for years, Juliana St. John. They get married in a strange turn of events and then to Elliot’s remote home in the Highlands. Elliot had been held captive by a tribe in India and has severe lapses in his state of consciousness and sometimes he gets violent. Juliana soothes him but he still doubts he can lead a normal life. Again, while I really liked Elliot in this book I just didn’t connect with Juliana as much. Parts of the story were so very sweet but I just had some issues with the book as a whole. You can read my full review here at The Book Binge. 3.75 out of 5

Next up was Asher’s Dilemma by Colleen Kwan. The story is about a man who goes back in time by 8 months to save the woman he loves from disappearing forever. The book is good in an untraditional way. The heroine finds herself in love with both the current Asher as well as the future Asher and it does make things interesting. You can read my full review tomorrow on The Book Binge. 3 out of 5

Last for the week was The Scandalous, Dissolute, No-Good Mr. Wright by Tessa Dare was wonderful! This novella is about Eliza who is thought to be a bit too wild and too impetuous to be “out” until her 3 older sisters are out and married as Eliza’s father doesn’t want Eliza to cause a scandal and ruin it for all of them. The poor girl keeps running into Mr Harry Wright and he’s a piece of work – one that she tells herself that she wants nothing to do with. Of course after years of running into him she can’t help but fall in love with the scoundrel. This was another oh so terrific story that Tessa has written. She had such a way of telling a story that has me rooting for both the hero and the heroine from minute one. This is a must read. 5 out of 5

My Book Binge reviews that posted last week:
crickets chirping

Happy Reading!

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Guest Review: Asher’s Dilemma by Colleen Kwan

Posted December 28, 2012 by Tracy in Reviews | 4 Comments

Tracy’s review of Asher’s Dilemma by Colleen Kwan

Ever since he awoke one day on the floor of his workshop with a brain-splitting headache, Asher Quigley has been haunted by fleeting visions of a beautiful woman everywhere he looks—a woman he’s sure he knows, but can’t recall. In spite of this he has finished his most wondrous invention yet, one that will literally make history: a time machine. But before he can complete his exacting calculations a bizarre accident causes the device to be activated, with him inside! He awakes to find himself in his lab, eight months in the past, and suddenly he remembers her…

Asher knows that something in the near future causes Minerva Lambkin, the woman who turned down his marriage proposal, to be erased from existence. And he’s sure it has something to do with his device. Alone in a familiar world where he doesn’t belong, he’ll have to find a way to destroy the time machine to save the woman he loves from extinction. Even if that means erasing his own future.

Asher Quigley thinks he’s going crazy. He’s having terrible headaches and he keeps seeing this woman everywhere but she’s not real. What the heck is going on? One night he picks up one of his inventions and it practically pulls him to his workshop where it more or less forces him into his own Millenium machine. It’s actually a time travel machine and once he goes back in time 8 months he figures out exactly who the woman is – she’s the woman he loves.

Asher quickly remembers exactly who Minerva is a figures out why he couldn’t remember her 8 months in the future. Something had happened to erase her from his life and he’s determined that it won’t happen again.

In the time he’s in now the current Asher makes an ass of himself when he proposes to Minerva and she turns him down. Not that she doesn’t love him but because she wants her independence – which she’s never had. The future Asher – who is referred to as Quigley – tries to make up for Asher’s assishness by writing Minerva love letters and letting her know all of his thoughts and emotions that he never said to her before disaster struck.

As it happens past Asher meets future Asher and together with Minerva they must figure out how to keep Minerva alive and thwart the villain at the same time.

After I read this novella I realized that there was a book 1 in this story called Asher’s Invention. I really didn’t feel like I missed anything by not reading it so I think this one would be a good standalone. The story is quite clever and the execution is good. All of the characters were involved in mathematics in some fashion so none of them were too surprised at the future Asher’s appearance.

The reason for Minerva’s future extinction was due to vanity on someone’s part and though it seems like a shallow reason I could totally see it happening. I was quite happy when the villain got her just desserts.

Toward the end of the story things got a bit complicated because of how many people were involved – current villain, future villain, current Asher, future Asher – but it all worked out. Though a bit sad at the end it had to happen that way and it was good.

Rating: 3 out of 5 

You can read more from Tracy at Tracy’s Place

This book is available from Carina Press. You can buy it here or here in e-format. This book was provided by the publisher for an honest review.

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Guest Review: When Harriet Came Home by Coleen Kwan

Posted December 5, 2011 by Book Binge Guest Blogger in Reviews | 1 Comment

Judith’s review of When Harriet Came Home by Coleen Kwan.

After ten years of exile, Harriet Brown is back in town. Things have definitely changed, but so has she. Now the confident owner of a catering business, she’s no longer the shy, overweight girl everyone—including her hot teenage crush—used to ignore. In fact, she’s determined to make peace with Adam Blackstone for her part in exposing his father’s secret affairs and corrupt behavior as mayor.
But Adam has changed as well. No longer a pampered, rich pinup boy, he just wants to reestablish his family’s good name. He reluctantly agrees to a truce with Harriet, and is surprised by how changed she is. He doesn’twant to be drawn to her, but he can’t seem to resist her allure.
As Harriet struggles to come to terms with her past, her adolescent infatuation with Adam morphs into something more serious… Will she ever be accepted again? Or will ancient history ruin the chance of a future full of possibilities?

Life is full of surprises, not the least of which are the changes that occur to most of us between the ages of 15 to 25 years.  For many, those adolescent years are painful and the slurs and insults of others often leave wounds that take forever to heal, if ever.  Our self-image later in life can often be hooked to those wounds, for most of us seldom see ourselves as others see us.  I marvel at how well I remember some of the slurs of my high school years and when I stop to think that through carefully, it really is silly to keep on allowing the cruelty of unthinking teens to continue to even be “heard” inside our heads.

Not only to the old wounds affect one’s self-image, they often are self-imposed as in Harriet’s case.  She did what she believed to be right, for reasons no one bothered to investigate, and while the man in question never chided her for the ultimate fall-out, his son, Adam, bore the brunt of the downfall and carried the anger around like a personal treasure.  Now Harriet has returned to her home town–beautiful, svelte, successful–and Adam, the former rich man’s son–the privileged and gorgeous “prince” of teen society–has now become a builder who is intent on restoring his family’s good name.  Harriet Brown is the last person he wants to see.

I found this story to be quite compelling because it felt so familiar, based on situations, feelings, conversations, and prejudices that are far more common than any of us would like to admit.  There was a deep sense of sadness in me as I read about Harriet’s history, her unwillingness to face the people who had made who think so little of herself.  Only her love for her ailing dad was strong enough to get her to brave the continued harsh attitudes directed toward her–all for bringing corruption to light.  But there is more to the story than that, and a sense of discovery seemed to hover on each page.  I had the feeling from the very start of the story that there was something–may a number of issues–going on that no one knew about, reasons for Harriet bringing Adam’s dad’s misbehavior and criminal activity to light that no one seemed interested in knowing.  And there was that feeling that no matter how hard Harriet worked to better herself, that she really hadn’t figured out that she didn’t need to concern herself about the attitudes and expectations of these people who seemed determined to think ill of her.

This is the first work by this author that I have encountered and I was impressed with her writing prowess.  The story moved along at a nice pace and the secondary characters were impressive in that they formed a good backdrop for Harriet and Adam’s story without taking over.  My curiosity was piqued and I am going to have to do some investigation of this author and find out more about her.  Her story seemed to indicate a mature awareness of these kinds of snarls that can poison relationships, especially when people close themselves off as they nurture old angers.  I was impressed with Harriet as a professional that in spite of her sense that she could never measure up, that there was no way Adam would ever view her past actions in a positive light, she didn’t give up–not only for her own sake because she was having to admit that her feelings for Adam were really far more than a girlish crush, but because her dad wanted her to triumph over the hurts of the past and once again find her place within her hometown society.  And was she not a great role model as a fictional heroine?  She was willing to push her own limits and discover her own measure as a professional, even if it meant that she might fail.  That’s truly a “plucky” person.

This is a recent release by Carina Press and was a very nice read.  I hope you will check it out.

I give this work a rating of 4 out of 5.

You can read more from Judith at Dr J’s Book Place.

This book is available from Carina Press. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

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