Thursday, August 28, 2014

With Every Breath

Title: With Every Breath
Author: Elizabeth Camden
Labels: Fiction | Historical Fiction
Publisher: Bethany House
Publication Date: August 5, 2014
Recommended To: Adult, YA
Contains: Clean

Buy It: Amazon | Book Depository | Kindle
Blurb From Goodreads: In the shadow of the nation's capital, Kate Livingston holds a respectable position as a government statistician when she encounters a rival from her past, the insufferable Trevor McDonough. A Harvard-trained physician, Trevor never showed the tiniest flicker of interest in Kate, and she's bewildered at the way he suddenly seeks her out. Surprising even herself, Kate agrees to Trevor's entirely unexpected and risky proposal to work side-by-side with him in his quest to rid the world of tuberculosis, a contagious and deadly disease.
          As Kate begins to unlock the mysteries of Trevor's past, she realizes there is much more to him than she could have imagined. His hidden depths may fascinate her, but his most closely guarded secrets and a shadowy enemy lurking in the background carry a serious threat to their future. When the truth of the past comes out, threatening to destroy everything they hold dear, how will Trevor and Kate ever overcome all that stands in their way?
I ended up really liking this book, despite my initial hesitation due to the fact that I wasn't crazy about the cover. Yes, I am one of those obnoxious people who have it ingrained it in them to judge books by their covers. My apologies. Anyway, I gave it a chance and was rewarded with a great story.

Normally I talk more about the plot and romance and stuff like that, but for this book I was to talk more about the characters. The characters impressed me the most because they were very well rounded and fleshed out, and were very interesting and real--and that's a hard combination to come by. I loved that Kate had a strong motivating factor based on her fears, which is easy to relate to for most people. But her motivations and persona wasn't just around Trevor, but rather carried over into her relationship with her brother and family, as well as other characters in the story. As for Trevor, I liked him for essentially the same reason. His own motivating factor drove him to be the person he was, and carried across the board in his life. It just all struck me as something that was very real in everyone's life. Not only were they motivated by individual things, but they were eventually able to overcome and change those motivations with work.

The entire story and characters carried a great relatable story and inspiration. Definitely recommended. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher for this review. These opinions are my own; I was not required to write a positive review, nor was I compensated for this review.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

The Castaways

Title: The Castaways
Author: Elin Hilderbrand
Labels: Fiction
Publisher: Back Bay Books
Publication Date: June 8, 2010
Recommended To: Not Recommended
Contains: Sexual Affairs and Profanity

Buy It: Amazon | Book Depository | Kindle
Blurb From Goodreads: Greg and Tess MacAvoy are one of four prominent Nantucket couples who count each other as best friends. As pillars of their close-knit community, the MacAvoys, Kapenashes, Drakes, and Wheelers are important to their friends and neighbors, and especially to each other. But just before the beginning of another idyllic summer, Greg and Tess are killed when their boat capsizes during an anniversary sail. As the warm weather approaches and the island mourns their loss, nothing can prepare the MacAvoy's closest friends for what will be revealed. Once again, Hilderbrand masterfully weaves an intense tale of love and loyalty set against the backdrop of endless summer island life.
I only made it about a fourth of the way through this book before I decided I wasn't interested in finishing it. Initially, I had picked this book up because it looked interesting and sounded like a different and unique plot. The plot centers around a group of friends--all married--and the after affects of the death of one of the couples. Since the couple died alone at sea during a short anniversary trip, no one knows exactly what happened, although one or two of the friends begin to have suspicions that it wasn't an innocent accident.

I'm not going to really sugar coat this--and if others don't agree, that's fine, they are welcome to their opinions, as I am to mine. I stopped reading this book because *spoiler alert* at least two people in the group of friends were revealed to be having affairs with other people in the group, and because of the profanity. People were kissing other peoples wives/husbands or worse, and secrets were being revealed that showed the lack of honor for faithfulness in marriage. The whole thing ended up being something I didn't want to fill my head with, and so I put the book down for good.

I would not recommend this book, despite it's initial appeal. I bought this book, and therefore was not asked nor required to write a review. These opinions are my own; I was not required to write a positive review, nor was I compensated for this review.

The Blue Bistro

Title: The Blue Bistro
Author: Elin Hilderbrand
Labels: Fiction | Contemporary
Publisher: St. Martins Griffin
Publication Date: June 3, 2014
Recommended To: Not Recommended
Contains: Profanity

Buy It: Amazon | Book Depository | Kindle
Blurb From Goodreads: Adrienne Dealey has spent the past six years working for hotels in exotic resort towns. This summer she has decided to make Nantucket home. Left flat broke by her ex-boyfriend, she’s desperate to earn some fast money. When the desirable Thatcher Smith, owner of Nantucket's hottest restaurant, is the only one to offer her a job, she wonders if she can get by with no restaurant experience. Thatcher gives Adrienne a crash course in the business...and they share an instant attraction.
          But there’s a mystery about their situation: what is it about Fiona, the Blue Bistro's chef, that captures Thatcher's attention again and again? And why does such a successful restaurant seem to be in its final season before closing its doors for good? Despite her uncertainty, Adrienne must decide whether to open her heart for the first time, or move on, as she always does.
This isn't going to be a very long review, because I only read the first 100 pages (give or take) before deciding I didn't want to finished it. Hold on, lemme rephrase that: I wanted to finish it, but I decided I shouldn't finish it. I wanted to finish it because the plot itself was interesting. Adrienne is a woman who, after a disastrous event, heads to Nantucket with a plan to start fresh. Part of this fresh start includes finding a job and paying back a loan from her father and she finds this job at a restaurant--an occupation far from her expertise. The characters were fleshed out and well rounded--the whole story (at least the part I read) was very well written.

However, I decided I couldn't finish it because of the profanity used. It wasn't so frequent as to be on every page--they were actually dispersed, and often several clean pages would go by before another profanity was mentioned. However, I personally would prefer not to read--not even quickly skim over or have to skip over--f-bombs and b-bombs and other bombs of the sort. I realize not everyone will agree with my view on profanity, but I personally would rather not read materiel that puts it into my head.

Because I believe profanity is wrong and should not be read, said, or dwelt upon, I cannot recommend The Blue Bistro. I bought this book, and therefore was not asked nor required to write a review. These opinions are my own; I was not required to write a positive review, nor was I compensated for this review.