Thursday, 31 July 2014

Irish Rebel, 2000 (Irish Heart Series, Book #3)

     Oh! I wanted to write about this book as soon as I finished it and I did. An extra mark for one particular scene which set me in a fit of laughter. How I love the woman! Keeley Grant is the oldest daughter of Adelia and Travis Grant. Remember we met them in Irish Thoroughbred? She is smart, independent and rumor is she is cold. She hasn't given much thought to men until she met Brian Donnelly. He is proud, confident and a horse trainer of Uncle Paddy's caliber. I hope you remember him, Uncle Paddy! Brian has a gift with horses, an innate quality to connect with them. He tends. It is his nature. Keeley is self sufficient. She has her own business flourishing despite being an heir to The Royal Meadows. He comes to work at The Royal Meadows (from Ireland, no points for guessing!) and they fall in love with each other. How, when and why are for you to discover by reading the book.
Image Courtesy : Google Images
     In my opinion this book is the best in The Irish Heart Series. A few pages right before the end are brilliantly written. Set me in a fit of laughter at right three in the morning. I finished this book in one go, so no chances of it being boring. I developed a liking for Adelia Grant. Roberts didn't do justice with her in Irish Thoroughbred. You will also find Logans in this book. One thing I admire about Roberts's series is the way she portrays her characters. They are more than characters; people you know, love, meet every day and watch them grow old. It leaves one with a feeling of contentment knowing that the characters you read about in previous book are living happily together. And don't I like to see these people enjoying their happy-ever-after? One see Adelia and Travis fall in love in Irish Thoroughbred, happily married with kids in Irish Rose and old, gray and content in Irish Rebel; and one feels happy. I do! This book is as much about these people as it is about Keeley and Brian. I like it. It's the first series written by Roberts. I wouldn't be surprised if tomorrow Roberts decide to write a book about the life of Grant's other kids or Logan's kids, for that matter. 

Friday, 25 July 2014

Irish Rose, 1988 (Irish Heart Series, Book #2)

     It irritates me when people start finding reasons behind someone's love for them. Sometimes, the best way to reciprocate love is to expect the love offered by others. If I may say, Burke Logan is a jerk. I know, I know. Most of you wouldn't agree to it considering the kind of childhood he has lived. But, when the only thing you have wanted most in your life stares you right in the face, can you ignore it? Well, he tries too hard and fails miserably. When Burke Logan decides to go to Ireland with Adelia and Travis Grant, he doesn't know that he would get more than horses there. He is a gambler and prefers to live on the edge as for him life is, too, a gamble. He doesn't believe settling in one place for long. Three Aces has been nothing but a purse won in a gamble but then it goes on to become much more than that. Erin McKinnon is a 'woman after his heart'. She is ambitious and not happy with her present life in a small village in Ireland. This book follows the same trend as of the previous one of an Irish shifting her roots to America. Believe it or not but Erin is Roberts's own Elizabeth Bennet.

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     This book is written almost 7 years after and in a better way than Irish Thoroughbred. The idea, however, remains the same. Though more background story and plot twisting has happened in this book, I still don't like the way Burke asks Erin for marriage. The reason is not acceptable to me. Initially, the woman seems after money only. That is not the case but in the first few chapters, set in Ireland, it seems so. The incident right before a major race provides a little thrill. I think there's no profession left in which Roberts's characters have not excelled at. Reading about owning horses and racing them is as exciting as reading about making glass art. If you read Roberts enough you will know what goes in a profession. Right from owning ranches to running art galleries, her characters are everywhere.    

Friday, 18 July 2014

Irish Thoroughbred, 1981 (Irish Hearts Series, Book #1)

     It's stupid. Yes, to marry someone just because you want to take care of them is stupid. Of course, the love is there. But it hasn't been acknowledged and it has been projected as if he has married the woman to protect and provide for her. It seems stupid at THAT moment, if not later. But then it is Nora Roberts and she has enough love in her heart to prove you wrong of thinking of it as stupid. You don't get it, do you? Okay! Let's take a step back. Adelia Cunnan a.k.a little Dee is alone and lonely after the death of her aunt. She lost her parents when she was 10 and since then was living with her aunt. Life is hard for her. Even after putting full days on her farm in Ireland she finds it difficult to run it. She moves to Virginia,America to her only living relative, uncle Paddy. She meets Travis Grant, the owner of The Royal Meadows and falls in love with him. He marries Dee under certain circumstances and they live a happy life after that.

Image Courtesy : Google Images 

     I want to say more but I don't want to spoil it for you. But allow me to tell you what I feel about this book. This is the first book in the first series written by Roberts in 1981 and since then she has come a long way. Had I read all her books in a chronological order, I would have felt different. But because I have already read much stuff written by her, I think I am well acquainted with her writing style. So, I knew about the love. After that little incident and the marriage, I had known exactly what followed. One reason I like Roberts is that it is always 'happily-ever-after' with her, no open or sad endings. There is not much in this book but the warmth of relationships. Her characters don't have a mean bone in them. Travis is domineering but at the same time affectionate, compassionate and caring. But I don't like the way he marries Dee. Uncle Paddy is pure love. He loves not only his niece but Travis without any constraint. Trish is well, Trish. One would be happy to have her as a friend. Margot Winters's mean character could have enjoyed a little bit more space. The last scene is short and not well fed. Because Roberts has written more than enough on cowboys and barns, I like the fact that this book is about something similar but in a different way!

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Black Hills, 2009

     Last night I finished reading Black Hills by Nora Roberts and wrote about it first thing in the morning. But blame it on my laziness; it took me a while to post it. Nevertheless, it is finally here. Yaay! Before I start voicing my opinions about this particular book let me get you acquainted with it first. I will be nice and try to give out as less spoilers as possible. But, I warn thee! The story is set in Black Hills, South Dakota, North America. It begins in the summer of 1989 and follows a span of 20 years. We meet the protagonists when they are kids and best friends (1989), teenagers and lovers (1997) and finally when they are adults having figured out everything for themselves except each other (2009). The love has always been there. No candies for guessing that! Dr.Lillian Chance is now the proud owner of Chance Wild Refuge, what she has always wanted and Cooper Sullivan is, well, back after making a mark for himself in New York. Coop faced a troubled childhood and Lil has the best parents in the world (that's her own statement!). For Coop, Black Hills has always been the Home. They have a relationship then for a decade there is no contact but yes, they definitely end up together. After all, Roberts is all about Happy-Ever-After. No prizes for guessing about the love but treat yourself with an ice-cream if you think you can figure out the stalker of Lil who also happens to be a serial killer.
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     Now, my opinions! Lil is smart, independent and I like it when she makes it difficult for Coop because Coop is an idiot who thinks he has the right to make all the decisions in the relationship. He is an idiot for not trusting Lil enough and giving himself undue importance. He justifies his actions, alright! But for a better part of the book I did not like him. He is definitely not the signature Nora Roberts hero. He is also confused and often needs a drastic event to push himself to do what he actually wants. As for the stalker, he has his motive which is disturbing. He doesn't kill, he hunts. In his pursuit of hunting Lil, he kills 3 women, 2 men and 3 animals. The other kills have been hinted at but not talked about much. He is a psycho and claims to be a descendant of Crazy Horse. Yeah yeah! Pure bullshit. But what else to expect from a psycho? Why is he after Lil? Okay! One piece of information, Lil has got some Sioux blood. Now, go read the book and figure it out! :D
Black Hills, South Dakota
(Image Courtesy - Google Images)
     You can't help yourself but love Farley. In the midst of chaos, he is one stable character. He is a contrast to our Serial Killer as they both had it rough as children. You also have to laud for Willie for not getting his ego in the way and letting Coop help him. Read this book and you will know a great deal about the Native American tribes, about the controversy over Black Hills and about how a Wildlife Refuge works. You also get a chance to brush up your historical knowledge as well. Considering this is written by Roberts, there's is not much romance but if you have a spot in your heart for camping and trekking this is worth a read. But, as far as my opinion goes, it gets a bit slow in the middle and a little more action at the end would definitely have been better. Nonetheless, it makes a good read.

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Reading the Romances

     I am on an almost two and a half months vacation after my semester exams and this vacation is coming to an end in about a week or so. I am excited about the new semester and looking forward to meet the new lot of juniors. It's been boring for some time now. There, I said it. Vacations after certain time tend to get boring. When I think about these two and a half months it strikes me that I did nothing but I read. Honestly, I read books by just one author. A confession, I am a sucker for romances. But the who isn't? A little love doesn't hurt anyone, especially when it is fictional. So, I read about 35 books by Nora Roberts this summer, which is not over yet. Whenever I thought I had had enough of the author, I found myself browsing for another book by her may be to see how she spins another tale with almost same elements. I wouldn't say she is phenomenal but I like her and that's enough for me to maintain a blog about her works. With more than 200 books in her kitty she is someone you just can't ignore.

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     A little bit of snooping around tells me that she writes for 8 hours a day even when on holidays. A friend justified this as work ethics but I think she is as big a sucker for romances as I am. Often in her novels she spices the the romance with thrill. We can keep guessing who the killer is but let's just say she doesn't want us to play detectives. There's no point, anyway. Most of the times the least likely person turns out to be the bad guy with some deep down hidden motive. But we are convinced and that's what makes her good. If you catch the killer, treat yourself with a candy. Frankly, my dear, you have earned it. So, I am going to maintain a blog on books by Roberts for two reasons. The first one being my fondness for her. Too obvious, isn't it? The second reason, with more than 200 books to read and write about I am not going to run out of topics any time soon. Also, don't be too surprised if you find me being critical about her books. Liking her doesn't mean I accept everything she writes. Maybe, someday I will write about 'In Death' series as well.