Tag: Beverly Cialone

What I Read Last Week

Posted November 21, 2011 by Tracy in Reviews | 8 Comments

This week was another relatively relaxed week. No fires or smoke in the microwave so that was a plus! (Although that smell is still lingering every time we turn on the microwave!). The girls and I just watched movies yesterday and had fun hanging out and being cozy while it rained outside.
The highlight of my week was on Saturday the hubby and I went to a monumental event – my friend Claire’s 100th birthday party. She turned 100 on Nov. 16th and on the day of the party she told us she was 103. We just kind of looked at her funny and she said, “I’m 100 years and 3 days old and I want credit for every minute of it!” lol She’s so funny – and wonderful – and adorable – and I just can’t say enough about how much I love this woman. She has led an amazing life – she was a public health nurse and was in Pearl Harbor when it was bombed. She’s lived in the Philippines, Hong Kong & Hawaii (and Hawaii is one of her favorite places on earth hence the lei’s) as well as many other places in Asia while raising two great sons. She’s taken adventures and just lived a full and happy life. It was a great party and I was so glad I was asked to be a part of it. Here we are enjoying ourselves on Saturday night:
On to the reading…
I started the week with In the Eye of the Beholder by Beverly Cialone. This was the second book that I had read by this author and it was incredibly similar to the first in extreme ways. You can read my reviews for both of this authors books here. 1.5 out of 5
Next up was the book I read for my TBR Challenge which was Heart of Fire by Linda Howard. This was the story of an expedition in the Amazon and a romance that happens along the way. I really liked this book a lot and loved the hero, Ben. I may have to steal his ass from Rowena and Holly. You can read my review here. 4.5 out of 5
Next up was the third book in the Limit War Series by Nico Rosso, The Limit of Desire. This was about a Jessa and Ryder who have had a fling and enjoyed every moment of it but Jessa is Ryder’s commanding officer and though Ryder wants more from the relationship Jessa is hesitant due to many reasons. You can read my review of this very good book here. 4.0/4.25 out of 5
Love, Come to Me by Lisa Kleypas is a re-release that I read for The Book Binge. This book was originally written in 1988 and one of her earliest works. I very much could tell the incredible changes that have been made in her writing since she first began. I actually had to remind myself a couple of times who the author was! The story was right after the Civil War and is about a southern man falling in love with a northerner. They have their many ups and downs and of course a huge lack of communication but eventually work it out. I liked the book but it was definitely my least favorite of Kleypas’s work so far. 3 out of 5
Between Seasons by Aida Brassington was another book that I read for The Book Binge. This was the story of 19 year old Patrick who dies in his home back in 1970. He becomes a ghost there and the story tells of him from 1970 until 2010 (not EVERYTHING! lol) when someone new buys the house. Patrick falls in love with the new homeowner and aches because he can’t be with her in human form. Strange things happen and soon not only can the homeowner, Sara, hear him but she can eventually see him. It’s a bizarre but beautiful tale of love and I very much enjoyed reading it. 4.5 out of 5
Next was the novella, Hopes and Fears, by Rowan Speedwell. This is a follow up story of Brian McCarthy from Finding Zach. Brian has finished his book about Zach but now he’s living in Chicago and trying to deal with his life and the different feelings he’s trying to work through. He meets Jerry who is his physical therapist and is completely interested. Brian however only does hook-ups/one night stands and Jerry only dates men he might consider being with long-term. The story is so good and the tale of their relationship and how the two men get together is just told incredibly well. If you read Finding Zach then I highly recommend you reading this one as well. 4.5 out of 5 (Thanks to Tam for telling me about this one!)
Last for the week was GhosTV by Jordan Castillo Price. I hate to say that this is my Tracy’s TBR Challenge read for the week (yes, I’ve been sadly falling down on the job with this personal challenge lately) but I have had it for a while. This is book 6 in the series and while I didn’t like it quite as well as the last few it was still very good. The story was about Vic and Jacob heading to California when they find out that their friend Lisa is missing from her school, PsyTrain. They have to deal with people they don’t care to deal with, Vic meets up with someone from his past which is a shock and there are more than a few surprises in the book (not to mention kind of cliff-hanger at the end). It was a really well written and engaging and a definite read if you’ve read books 1-5. (In fact, if you haven’t read books 1-5 then don’t read this one as you’ll be completely lost! lol) 4.25 out of 5
My Book Binge reviews that posted last week:
Happy Reading!

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Beverly Cialone reviews: Two for Thursday

Posted November 17, 2011 by Tracy in Reviews | 11 Comments

Coming Home

After being apart for many years, Nick learns of the death of Ashley’s parents, and flies back to his old hometown to be by her side. Concerned over how distraught Ashley is, he decides to bring her back home with him, where their relationship picks back up and heats up in a hurry. However, Nick has a secret but jealous admirer, and when Ashley is kidnapped, Nick discovers that Ashley is pregnant. Will they get to her in time? What will become of Ashley and her baby?

Nick reads about the death of Ashley’s parents in the paper and he doesn’t hesitate for a minute before he decides that he needs to be with her. He finds her at her parents’ house barely dealing with the emotions that are rioting through her body. Nick pretty much takes over and takes Ashley to his hotel to get some food and rest. He forces her to eat and to take care of herself and eventually she comes out of the fog she’s in.

Nick is there with Ashley during the very difficult funeral and when Ashley decides that she can’t stay in her town any longer without her parents Nick offers his home as a place to lay her head. Ashley takes him up on this and due to their close proximity their relationship soon blooms into something more than friendship.

Ashley falls hard for Nick but she’s not sure how Nick feels. When she finds out she’s pregnant she’s not positive Nick will be happy about the baby but before she can tell him, a psycho ex-date of Nick’s decides to take Ashley out of the picture in order to put herself into it.

This is my first read by this author. While I liked the premise of the book the story fell a bit short for me. I liked Nick but frankly by the end of the book knew very little about him.  I liked Ashley as well but besides the death of her parents I knew nothing about her either.  There was very little characterization and sadly  I didn’t feel like there was any true emotion in the book. They almost felt like characters who were playing out a part and just saying their lines – and not well.  The writing itself didn’t delve into the major emotions that this book could have developed.

The part when Ashley is kidnapped is probably the most intense part of the book but it was very short lived. Allison, the psycho kidnapper, had such hatred and while I felt that we really didn’t get too much background on why she would act this way except that she’d had a few dates with Nick. I felt Nick’s relief at finding Ashley but even with all the major events that were happening in the book the intensity didn’t come through. Overall the book was just ok for me.

Rating: 2 out of 5

In the Eye of the Beholder

Hi, my name is Ashley. I never thought I would get this lucky – to meet a handsome doctor named Adam and fall madly in love. But I did. The only problem is that Adam is blind and I already have major self-esteem issues. Add to that a spiteful ex-wife and a reserved live-in housekeeper, and my story makes for a very interesting read! Go ahead, lose yourself in my adventure; I promise, you won’t be disappointed!

Ashley, our narrator, has lived in the town for a mere 6 months.  She doesn’t date and she’s a bit lonely.  She works at the hospital and one day while eating lunch in the cafeteria she sees Adam.  She’s instantly attracted to him and since he’s reading a book she decides that that would be a perfect conversation starter. She heads over and has a great conversation with Adam and they decide to meet the next day for lunch.  Ashley is beside herself!  She doesn’t feel that’s she’s pretty or attractive in any way so she’s shocked that Adam would be interested in eating lunch with her since he’s so gorgeous.

Ashley and Adam seem to hit if off and end up meeting for lunch on a regular basis for at the hospital (he works there as a doctor) and they spend a couple of weekends having fun and getting to know each other.  After they’d been dating for a bit Adam decides to come clean – he’s blind and has been for the past 5 years.  He handled himself well so she didn’t know (although there would have been clues, I would think – especially reading by Braille, right?).  She’s not bothered by the blindness and their relationship grows deeper until Adam become eligible for an optic nerve transplant.  He is suddenly a seeing man again and this makes Ashley’s self-esteem (of which she has little to none) hit the skids.  Adam, however, knows that he loves Ashley for more than looks and even when he sees her is completely in love and thinks she’s beautiful.

Ashley still has doubts though and when Adam’s ex-wife shows up she’s even more unsure of her future with Adam.

I have to say that this book was much more enjoyable for me for the first part of the book.  While I didn’t get a ton of background on either character I got some and it was enough to pull it all together.  I really liked Adam and his love for Ashley.

I have to admit that Ashley’s self-esteem issues started to grate on my nerves more than a bit.  She wanted nothing more than a man to love her for who she was, etc., etc. and she had that with Adam!! I didn’t want her doubts any longer as he did everything in his power to let her know that she was loved and wanted.

The second part of the book was where things really started to go wrong for me.  Maybe if I hadn’t read Coming Home I wouldn’t have had a problem with it but frankly it was almost the same book rewritten.

  • The hero is a doctor and know exactly how to sooth the virgins aches and pains after their first time having sex – with ice straight in the vagina.
  • The heroine has a sudden attack of appendicitis and has to be rushed to the hospital where, of course, the hero will perform the surgery.
  • The heroine is slapped around by a jealous crazed woman.
  • The heroine’s parents die in a crash and she must be consoled by the hero and forced to eat.
  • The heroine becomes pregnant and is reluctant to tell the hero but when she does he’s thrilled.  She’s terrified of pregnancy but it’s ok because the hero is doing the delivery himself and taking care of it all  – at home.

All of the above was in both books with just slight variations in settings and dialogue!  I honestly had to wonder if the author’s other books had the same plot points.  sigh

I had a good feeling about the book at first but it soon dissolved and I was left disappointed in reading the same novella over again.

Rating: 1.5 out of 5

Beveryly Cialone
ireadiwrite Publishing

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What I Read Last Week

Posted November 14, 2011 by Tracy in Features | 5 Comments

Well it’s back to work for me after having 3 glorious days off. I was a complete slug this weekend and hardly left my house at all. You’d think I would have gotten so much stuff done – either reading or housework or….IDK, something! Yet, I didn’t. I got a couple of books read…the kids and I went to see the movie Jack and Jill which they were dying to see. I had no desire to see it yet I laughed throughout the film. We just hung out at home and played the game of Life. My youngest bought the board game with some birthday money this past July and I think we played about 20 games over the course of the 3 days. I know! That’s a lot but both girls were somewhat addicted, to say the least. I couldn’t resist them batting their beautiful eyelashes at me so I didn’t end up getting a whole lot done. Oh well…there’s always next weekend. 🙂

Then there was the Great Ravioli Massacre at our house. My oldest was making ravioli (from frozen) and doing it in the microwave (she’s too impatient to wait till the water boils and do it on the stove) and had a spot of trouble. She put less than the normal amount of ravioli’s in the bowl but then forgot to adjust the time setting and ended up burning those ravioli’s into lovely charcoal briquets. I smelled something burning (luckily I was at the kitchen table) and ran over before they actually caught fire. My entire house smells like burnt…something, and smoke. lol I think my daughter’s now afraid to use the microwave – poor thing. That was about as much excitement as we had all weekend. 🙂

On to what I read last week. It just didn’t feel like I read that much but looking at the titles it was more than I thought! According to my self-imposed challenge on Goodreads I’m 22 books behind. Oh well, it was a lofty goal to think I could read 400 books in one year! lol

I started the week with Cut & Run by Madeleine Urban and Abigail Roux. Wow. What a great book! I’ve had this for a long while – I think I got it free at one point from ARe – but had never cracked it open. I’m so glad I finally did! It was a really good mystery and suspense story as well as the start of a burgeoning romance between two FBI agents who couldn’t be more different. There was a lot of head hopping in the story which got a bit annoying, but other than that I loved the story. It’s interesting to see all the different ratings on goodreads as it’s gotten marks all over the board. Just shows you how some books appeal to some and not others. I will definitely be diving into book 2 in this series soon. 4.5 out of 5 (I wrote a review for this and posted it on The Book Binge. It will post on Thursday in case you’re interested)

Next up was Until There Was You by Kristan Higgins. I really love Higgins’ books! Her characters and humor just keep dragging me back in time and again and I’ve not been disappointed yet. This story was about a girl who has a crush on a boy in high school. Now he’s a widower and back in the town with his 15 year old daughter. The pair somehow get together and start a relationship but there are many things at play between Posey and Declan and not all of it good. You can read more in my review posted here. 4 out of 5

Next was Coming Home by Beverly Cialone. This is the story of a couple who were great friends and in love with each other when the girl was 16 and the guy 23 or 24. He leaves town and the girl because he feels that she needs to live her life and that it wasn’t right to pursue anything more. Now her parents have died and he goes back to “take care of her”. The relationship blossoms from there but there’s someone who doesn’t want them to be together. The was a requested review and I will be posting my thoughts on this soon. 2 out of 5

Next up was Vampire in Atlantis by Alyssa Day. I read this one for The Book Binge and my review will post tomorrow if you’re interested. The story was about Daniel the Vampire and a woman, Serai, who has been in stasis for 11,000 years. She gets out of her “prison” and heads off to find one of the stones that belongs in Poseidon’s trident. She meets up with Daniel who she was in love with all those many years ago. They each thought the other was dead so are beyond happy when they find each other again. This was a good book but I just didn’t find anything wonderful about it. It was a lovely romance between the reunited couple and of course the sex was smoking but other than that I just wasn’t wowed by it. 3 out of 5

OMG I can’t believe I forgot to post this in…yikes (I really wish that goodreads had a “date I finished the book” section to their goodreads app!)  I read Real Men Will by Victoria Dahl as well!  This was Eric Donovan’s story.  I really liked the novella that Dahl wrote about the couple in “The Guy Next Door” anthology but I got a bit disappointed in Eric as the series went on.  Yes, the book explained a ton of reasons why Eric acts as he does but he still frustrated the bejabbers out of me.  I will post my review on this book later this week.

Fire on the Mountain by PD Singer was my next read. This is the story of two men, Jake and Kurt, who are fire rangers in the Colorado mountains. They are a two man team and live in close quarters. Jake, who is gay (the story is told from his pov) has suddenly noticed Kurt in a sexual way and is trying hard to do his job and not show Kurt how attracted he is to him. That all becomes a moot point when they are stuck in the path of a raging fire and may die. The two men get together but then are separated and of course doubts abound as to each others feelings. It was a good book up until the time they were separated. Because it was told in 1st person the internal struggle with Jake got a bit old and then when they did get together it was pages and pages of reunion sex. Not a bad thing but I just wanted more. I’ve heard good things about book 2 so I will keep reading the series. 3 out of 5

Last for the week was Heartbreak Creek by Kaki Warner. I’m usually not a huge fan of historical westerns but this one looked particularly good so I gave it a try. I’m glad I did. Edwina is a true southern lady but with the war, her father dying and the plantation taking too much money she knows she has to do something. She signs the plantation over to the bank and becomes a mail order bride. She heads to Colorado with her half-sister, Prudence (who’s half black), to become the wife of a rancher. The book tells us the story of Edwina (Ed) and her husband Declan and how they manage to get along and eventually fall in love but there’s so much more to the story. We get to see the town of Heartbreak Creek and get to know more about it. Declan has an Indian after him who seeks vengeance and then there’s the little issue of whether they’re actually married or not. It’s a good story and I’m glad I picked it up. This was my first read by Warner but it won’t be my last. 4.25 out of 5

My Book Binge reviews that posted last week:
Angels of Darkness (anthology) by Ilona Andrews, Nalini Singh, Meljean Brook & Sharon Shinn
Telling Tales by Charlotte Stein

Happy Reading!

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