Get Lost…in a Book


Winter Chill

An avid reader doesn’t need an excuse to enjoy a good book, yet there’s something especially appealing about skipping errands in favor of curling up on your favorite piece of furniture and losing yourself in a story. I think this is doubly true during winter, sitting quietly a welcome change after all the excitement of December. Are you in the mood to revisit a beloved novel, read your favorite author’s newest release, make a dent in your to-be-read pile, or discover a new author?

As a novice owner of a Kindle Fire, I chose to read CROSS MY HEART, a book by Abigail Strom that ranks as the number one contemporary romance on Kindle. Its ranking may have had something to do with the book’s price, a mere ninety-nine cents. But that alone didn’t convince me to give her novel a try. It was Abigail Strom’s website bio, book blurbs, reader reviews, and excerpts that did.

CROSS MY HEART is Abigail’s third book, and the second in the Landry trilogy. The heroine, Jenna, is a singer/guitarist from a recently defunct rock band. She is back home in rural Iowa for the summer, housesitting for relatives. Michael Stone is a divorced, part-time father and workaholic cardiac surgeon who lives next door. They are attracted to each other, but don’t actually have a conversation until his teenage daughter arrives for her two-week visit. The daughter begs Michael to help her meet Jenna, one of her favorite singers. In the end, Jenna teaches Michael about music and having faith in himself as a dad, and he teaches her that love is worth compromise.

Abigail wrote the daughter, Claire with such a realistic teenage personality. The family and other interpersonal dynamics pull at the heartstrings, too, with believable, compelling conflicts. I was rooting for these characters, and I felt that the three of them would make a terrific family unit. I had to keep reading to see how they worked it all out. I wasn’t disappointed.

I finished Jenna Landry’s story only to dive into another Strom book. In WAITING FOR YOU, Jake Landry has returned from Afghanistan after four tours of military duty. He’s a strong man, trying to move forward in his life, but he suffers from PTSD. This prevents him from reconnecting with his family. He rejects his feelings toward Erin, the girl-next-door he’d left behind, determined not to ruin her innocence with his jaded perspective and numb heart. He leaves town after one incredible night with Erin, only to return six months later to learn the encounter had lasting consequences. I cried twice while reading this book; that’s how invested I became in Jake and Erin’s story.

The last of Abigail Strom’s books I’ve read is THE MILLIONAIRE’S WISH. This happens to be the first in the Landry trilogy and was published as a Silhouette Special Edition. I was quickly drawn into Allison and Rick’s lives. Allison is the oldest Landry sibling, and completely turned off to men after a violent ending to her first relationship back in high school. Her youngest sister died of cancer, and Allison has dedicated her adult life to her non-profit foundation helping families affected by the disease. She needs Rick’s money to help keep her dreams alive. He agrees, but on one condition. That condition forces the two to face their personal issues. Eventually, they realize they are crazy in love with each other and are ready to move forward as a couple. This story was satifying overall and answered all my story questions (with inclusion of an epilogue), yet the ending felt a bit rushed compared to the other two.

Abigail’s no-nonsense prose allows the reader to focus on the characters and their journey to their happily-ever-after. Her voice makes for a quick, seamless read. I would love for her to weave in a few more setting details in future novels, especially if she writes another trilogy. Stories where the community essentially becomes another character and part of the plot, as in Jodi Thomas’ HARMONY series, may add even more depth to an already well-crafted book. Then again, that’s just my opinion.

In Strom’s Landry trilogy, the emotional and sexual tension is her forte. CROSS MY HEART has the steamiest and greatest number of detailed, yet tasteful romantic scenes, and WAITING FOR YOU has sex scenes that are not only hot, but incredibly emotional.

In a nutshell, Abigail Strom writes a sweet, sexy, and satisfying read.

My Reading Spot

Why not sink into your favorite chair and get lost in a story? What will you be reading?

Advertisements

17 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Catie Rhodes
    Jan 23, 2012 @ 18:02:41

    My library has Kindle books to borrow, and I have borrowed Dead Run by Erica Spindler. I haven’t started it yet, but I’m excited to get into it. 😀

  2. Jolyse Barnett
    Jan 23, 2012 @ 19:46:45

    What’s the genre, Catie? Sounds intriguing.

  3. Nicole Basaraba
    Jan 24, 2012 @ 04:18:09

    This is what makes me miss the cold weather. Reading by book by the fire with a warm cup of something tasty. Enjoy on my behalf. 🙂

    • Jolyse Barnett
      Jan 24, 2012 @ 17:00:04

      What’s the weather like in your area now? Maybe enjoy a rainy day indoor, or read in a park. Lots of great ways to escape with a story. Have a wonderful week, Nicole, and congrats on your ROW80 progress. Keep it up!!

  4. Tuere Morton
    Jan 24, 2012 @ 04:31:39

    Sounds so good. I’m in dire need of a good book. I just finished an awesome YA paranormal series and the next book I ordered afterward had me stopping 22 pages in. Tough act to follow. 😛

    • Jolyse Barnett
      Jan 24, 2012 @ 16:54:09

      Do tell! Always looking for great titles.

      I know what you mean about a great book ruining you for other boks. It may take awhile. Maybe read outside that genre for a month or two?? 🙂

  5. Stacy Green
    Jan 24, 2012 @ 10:24:26

    Erica Spindler writes suspense. She’s really good. I love the borrow feature on Nook as well. Right now I’ve been doing the library thing and reading Patricia Cornwell’s Kay Scarpetta series. Love her style and characters.

    • Jolyse Barnett
      Jan 24, 2012 @ 16:56:18

      Thanks, Stacy! I’ll have to check out these two authors. I generally shy away from suspense,but I’m determined to branch out more this year. 🙂

  6. Jan Romes
    Jan 24, 2012 @ 18:08:32

    Hi, Jolyse,

    I’m currently reading The Royal Sheikh by Katheryn Lane. (contemporary) I’m only about 30 pages into it, but I’m enjoying it so far :-))

    Happy Tuesday!!

  7. Donna Coe-Velleman
    Jan 25, 2012 @ 23:54:03

    Erica Spindler sounds about my speed. Thanks Catie.

    I’ve recently read The Cloud Pavilion by Laura Joh Rowland, a mystery set in 1701, Japan. I liked it. It was different and captured the social structure of that time.

    First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones. This is a quirky, funny mystery book, I read the second in the series, Second Grave on the Left but didn’t feel it was as good as the first.

    The Hunger Games. Really liked the series especially the first book.
    And there are more that I’ve read but I won’t get intovit.

    • Jolyse Barnett
      Jan 26, 2012 @ 17:53:44

      Thanks for sharing all your great reads, Donna. Erica Spindler sounds like an author to check out, doesn’t she! Have a wonderful weekend. 🙂

  8. Marcia
    Jan 26, 2012 @ 15:19:18

    I have so many books on my TBR list, but these books sound good. Right now I’m reading a James Rollins book and a historical fiction, Jonathan’s Cross that I got free for kindle. It’s a story that keeps me reading-good characters and a setting I love-1929, depression era.
    I read across a few genres-romance, mysterythriller/supense, historical, literary, NF. I love getting cozy on a stormy day to read. Writing has usurped most of my free time so I read while I’m on the treadmill now.

  9. Trackback: Kindle Fire Obsession Update « JOLYSE BARNETT'S Margarita Moments & Other Escapes
%d bloggers like this: