Janna Morton Morton itibaren Sveti Danijel, Slovenya
Let me get this out of the way first.....yeah, this cover is smokin'. I have to say that even if you have never heard of this author or even read romance novels, this cover would make anyone pause and pick up the book. This has, as they say in real estate, curb appeal. Having said that, though, I don't think he story lives up to the cover. The book is all kinds of hot, but it doesn't 100% deliver for me. What did work for me: The main characters were appealing. I thought the author did a great job of showing Tara as being a concerned mother who was hyper conscious of her role as a single mother and not wanting to make the mistakes with her son that her parents made with her. I also appreciated a lot of Tara's self doubts wrt her relationship with Mick. He was rich, famous, and sought after and she is not. She also knows he can absolutely hurt her. She was protective of that as well. So that made sense as was realistic. Mick's internal dialogue saved him from being a bit of a cypher. So much of the story was from Tara's POV, that Mick seemed too much like this trophy, almost. But once the story gets going and his own internal thoughts get some air, we see why he finds Tara so appealing and why she seems to work for him. The love story. It was a strong and affecting contemporary romance. It is really quite a simple formula of two people who are slowly falling in love and not quite sure how to handle it, even to point of denying it and being freaked out about it. Both Mick and Tara find in each other the person he/she really wants and are somewhat distrustful -- the too good to be true syndrome. I think the author handled this aspect really well. And for those readers who enjoy the fantasy element of romance, there is the whole hot rich guy sweeps regular gal off her feet with movie premiers, private planes and private islands etc. Eh, I don't vibe off that, but it was done nicely and not too over the top. What didn't quite work for me: The sex scenes integrating with the main story. I don't know what is was about this book but the sex scenes kept taking me out of the story. It got to the point that I started to skim them. I like a good sex scene and I don't mind explicit, hot erotica books. I actually enjoy them. But there was an odd dissonance between what was a largely enjoyable, sweet, love story and the graphic sex scenes. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely respect that people can be all sweetly, tender and schmoopy in love in public and then go all Vivid Video and Mandingo in the sack in private -- that isn't the issue really. I have read some great books that had a really tender or angsty or sweet romance wrapped around some seriously hot, adventurous sex (e.g. Liberating Lacey, Willing Victim, Relentless) that I thought were great at incorporating both the sex and the romance seamlessly. But for some reason, this one didn't integrate the two as well. Maybe the shifts were too abrupt? I dunno, I just got impatient with the sex. And I never get impatient with good sex! Supporting characters: A little card-boardy and some of the major ones were not characters in their own right but i felt they were simply there as a means to propel plot. Overall a nice, quick read. I think people who like contemporary romances and don't mind explicit, graphic sex scenes will like it.
An enjoyable book. Should make a good movie, if Team Edward doesn't stink it up!
despite the fact that this book does not contain a bunch of "death by shark" stories that cover made me believe it would (this edition is from 1979 and i can't help but think it was trying to trick people with jawsmania), it is nonetheless a killer collection. my favourite story is the first, by jack finney (to those that know me, that should come as no surprise). i would call "of missing persons" a perfect gem of a tale -- the title is perhaps the most prosaic thing about this story that keeps doubling-back, that gives hope and despair, and a wistful plea that is the hallmark of a good jack finney tale. it's followed by "island of fear" by william sambrot, another story that i tried to resist because it played in such familiar territory but it was so such a finely crafted little story, that in the end, i succumbed to it, i said, "ah, it's her" and welcomed the familiar arrival -- another character i won't name who is special to me -- but that is one clue to her identity: most stories about her end with her coming. "getting rid of george" is a fun little romp, reminiscent of arsenic and old lace, or dare i say it? weekend at bernie's -- but better of course than weekend at bernie's! much better. :) "treasure trove" by F. Tennyson Jesse was published in 1928, and while i won't say it's dated, it feels like it was written in a time when people would have felt the weight of the story's outcome keenly. all four of these are well-crafted examples of short form: immediately building the backdrop and drawing the reader in with characters also quickly delineated, and they play out their inexorable tension to the moment of climax each time with a creeping, increasing anxiety. you can see why they're in a hitchcock collection: they are splendid stories of suspense. i like the next two stories less: not that i don't think "the body of the crime" or "a nice touch" aren't as well written. it really just comes down to subject matter for these two, i think. in the first, i felt frustrated by the ending. i wasn't sure what was happening for most of the story, and when it culminated there was definitely a vague sense of being cheated, though i can't say that others would feel the same way. i'm thinking if you liked the life of pi, you would like the ending provided here. as for "a nice touch" i couldn't help but think it read a lot like "pretty mouth and green my eyes" by salinger, except with murder, and so it takes the honours as the least favourite of the stories in the book. the last story is a novella by hilda lawrence called "composition for four hands". a web search let me know that hitchcock filmed it as "the long silence" for his hour-long television show in 1963 i really do need to invest in a couple of seasons of this on dvd.) without giving too much away, the story revolves around an invalid, a paralyzed woman, surrounded by her family and neighbours. it shunts back and forth from her silent monologue, to the action of the people around her, sometimes moving into the nurse's head, and then a neighbour's. at one point in the story, i'm not even sure who is speaking, though it is ostensibly the nurse, describing bedrooms in the hallway. more plodding that the other stories, it is nevertheless nerve-wracking, and has flashes of a shirley jackson's version of claustrophobia, and i'm curious enough about her to try to seek out the four mystery novels she wrote. or at least one. :) a very readable collection in a slim volume. perfect for an evening home alone such as hitchcock describes in his introduction: "When you begin reading, may I suggest you choose a time when you are alone in the house. If there are people there, get rid of them. The book is full of suggestions of how this can be accomplished. Now turn out all the lights you possibly can, look over the stories, and take one before retiring. If you want to sample another, help yourself, but be careful. An overdose could be fatal. After all, this is a highly toxic book."