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Reflections on the #AtoZChallenge

by Donna Huber For the A to Z Challenge, I discussed different book genres/categories. Each day, I gave a few details about the genre/catego...

April 2, 2011

Light & Fluffy: Anyone but You by Jennifer Crusie

by Donna Huber

Anyone buy You
March 2006; HQN Books; 9780373771462
ebook, print (224 pages); romance
After reading many depressing books and feeling a bit depressed myself, I needed something to lift my spirits. I walked into my library and told my librarian I needed a book. She looked at me a bit funny: obviously, I needed a book since I was at the library (though I seem to check out more movies than books). I explained I needed something light and fluffy. She replied you don't read light and fluffy. I love living in small towns where the librarian knows my reading taste. Anyways, she preceded to point out a few books. I picked up one book that was more my normal read - the opening pages mentioned a plane crash in the mountains and a freezing Jack Russell terrier (I have a JR terror), so I decided against it - maybe later I'll pick it up because it did look good. She also pointed me to some "funny" novels about southern society set in Savannah. I might live in the south, but I am not a southerner and southern writing doesn't really appeal to me. Then she handed me a Jennifer Crusie. I recognized the name from someone recommending her to me on Twitter. It mentioned a dog so I inquired about if the dog dies (I typically avoid animal stories because they are almost always sad). She said no so I said yes to the book.

I realized when I got home that it was a Harlequin novel. It's the first one I have ever read. While it was not the trashy bodice-ripping romance I always associated with Harlequin the love scene towards the end ruined an otherwise charming, funny as can be, fluffy novel. 

I laughed so hard through the book and not just at the dog antics. I loved Fred. I have a bit of a soft spot for basset hounds because they always look so morose. And animals can be downright hilarious. But I enjoyed the banter between brothers Alex and Max. I was at Chick-fil-a eating lunch when I read the part where Max is telling Alex that 40-year-old women are insecure about their bodies. Alex asked him how he knows what a 40-year-old woman thinks. Max's reply "I'm a gynecologist." The whole conversation is funny and had me literally laughing out loud (which might have drawn a few looks in my direction).

I was telling everyone how funny and good the book was. I couldn't wait to see how it ended. Did Nina get over the 10 year age difference (I totally understand her dilemma. I live in a town where most single men are 18 -24 and I am 34)? Would Alex screw up everything by trying to meet his family's expectations of adulthood thinking it would impress Nina? Then when it seems that Nina and Alex are finally getting there act together, Jennifer Crusie ruins the book from me by providing a detailed account of their bedroom activities. Why must everything have sex in it? I am not prude enough to think that sex should never be mentioned in a book, but I don't want to be in bed with Nina and Alex. 

Seriously, I think that is one of the reasons I dislike the romance genre so much. If I want a clean novel it seems that I must read a young adult novel or Christian fiction. In YA, I get silly romance that does not touch on the relationship difficulties that I experience as a 30 something and Christian fiction is so ideal that it leaves me disgusted with my own life. Why do authors of adult fiction feel the need to provide descriptive sex? Or maybe the question should be why do readers feel the need to read descriptive sex? Are there any books out there that don't have descriptive sex, but still deals with the real struggles of finding a date in a funny and upbeat manner?

Up to the sex scene, I would have read another book by Jennifer Crusie as I found Anyone but You to be truly humorous. But the ending upset me and if that is what her other books are like then I might just pass.

Buy Anyone but You at Amazon

March 28, 2011

Another Great Dekker Book: Saint

Saint (Paradise Series, Book 2) (The Books of History Chronicles)Saint (Paradise #2) by Ted Dekker
paperback, 347 pages
Published 2007 by Thomas Nelson
Read March 2011

It is no secret that I am a Ted Dekker fan. I really tried not to do another Dekker book review because I don't want my blog to become Dekker all the time, but I finished Saint before the other 2 books I am currently reading. Saint is such a good book that I just had to read it whenever I had a chance, though it had tough competition from the Jennifer Crusie book I am hoping to tell you about later this week.

I didn't realize when I picked up Saint at my church's library a few weeks ago that it was actually the second novel in the series. Thankfully I have read enough Dekker to not be too lost. Also this book ties closely in with the Circle series that I reviewed earlier this year. Actually I think the Paradise series (which Saint is book 2 of) will answer a number of questions I was left with after reading Green.

The beginning of Saint is quite intense. The story revolves around a highly trained assassin. Do you remember the television series Alias that starred Jennifer Garner as Sydney Bristow? If you do, then I can tell you that it has a bit of an Alias feel to the novel. You don't know if Carl is working with a terrorist group or a highly classified off the books government agency. And neither does Carl. To become this highly trained assassin his identity has been stripped from him. His only thought is survival and can only recall information that is needed to insure his survival. Nothing is as it seems. A truth maybe a lie or maybe that is what they want Carl to think.

In some ways this is a very confusing book, but at the same time pretty straight forward. Or as straight forward as you can get with a Dekker novel. I highly recommend this book (though you will probably want to start with book 1 - Showdown). It is a great mystery, suspense, thriller, government corruption and espionage novel that will have you questioning everything you think you know.
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A Publisher's Contest

The Writer's Coffee Shop is hosting an ebook give away for the month of April for Old Wounds. I reviewed Old Wounds and thought some of my readers might be interested in the contest. You can get the contest details at the Publisher's website: