22 September 2011

Africa In My Blood

An Autobiography In Letters - The Early Years


From the Introduction: A romantic and very young Englishwoman arrived in British colonial Africa in early April 1957 and soon, quite possibly in her first letter home, wrote the astonishingly dramatic, precocious, and prophetic words "I am living in the Africa I have always longed for, always felt stirring in my blood."

This book is made up completely of letters written by Jane Goodall to family, friends and colleagues, starting in1942, when she was seven years old, and ending in 1966.

I recently read In The Shadow of Man, and many incidents from that book are recounted in Jane's letters, though from a slightly different perspective, as that book was the result of her research, and this one is her own bubbly personality relating incidents to her family and friends. For the most part this was a fascinating read, though I was a bit bored by the early years, until Jane had grown up and was off working and eagerly getting ready for adventure. She seems like she would have been a very fun person to know.

(I purchased this book at Half Price Books.)

16 September 2011

His Little Cowgirl


Love Inspired No. 466; The Cowboy Series No. 1

The first book I've read by this author, it was an enjoyable story, though it seemed to drag out just a little too long. Bailey has been raising her daughter as a single mother, with her father's help, for five years. Her father is ill and unable to work, and life is a struggle as she tries to keep up the mortgage payment and keep their heads above water. One day Cody Jacobs shows up on her doorstep, the father of her daughter who he doesn't know exists. Working his way through the AA 12 step program, the pro bull rider has stopped by to apologize to Bailey for the way he treated her six years ago, and then head off to the next meet. Then he sees little Meg, and suddenly he doesn't want to leave.

A story about love and redemption and forgiveness. The gossip and shame and guilt Bailey suffered as a young unmarried pregnant girl seemed a little quaint in this day and age, but then she does live in a small town.

I'll admit I teared up a time or to while reading this.

(Purchased at a library book sale.)

12 September 2011

Song of the Waves (Harlequin Presents No. 209)


I think this is the first one I've read by this particular author. I enjoyed it, I absolutely love these older Harlequins. In this story, our heroine, Wendy, has been diagnosed with a brain tumor and no surgeon will operate as the risks are too great. So on her doctor's advice she sells her home and embarks on a four month around the world cruise, where of course, despite her intentions, she falls in love. At times it was laughably melodramatic (especially when she thought the end had come and she was dying that very minute), but Wendy was a sweet, likeable young girl, and despite her illness we, the reader, are never really in any doubt as to whether she will survive.

(Purchased at a library book sale.)

10 September 2011

Dead End Dating (Dead End Dating Book 1)


First line: For those of you who don't already know me, my name is the Countess Lilliana Arabella Guinevere du Marchette (yeah, I know), but my friends call me Lil.

A quick read, that was enjoyable for the most part. The author puts her own spin on vamp mythology, with two classes of vamps, born vamps, and made vamps, who do not intermarry. Born vamps can have children with their eternal mate, and when choosing a mate they don't consider love or feelings. A female looks for a mate with a high fertility rating, and a male looks for a mate with a high OQ - orgasm quotient - as the more orgasms she can have in a single session of love making, the more eggs she can produce and the higher her chances of conceiving. Made vamps are unable to procreate.

Lil Marchette is a born vamp, who is also a romantic. She has started a matchmaking service, catering to both vamps and humans. She would like to find an eternity mate for herself, but she also wants someone she can actually love. Her mother is constantly trying to set her up and get her to settle down. One of Lil's first big clients is Francis, a geeky born vamp who blushes whenever a woman talks to him. If she can make him over and find him a mate, then her business should surely take off.

In the meantime, she meets Ty Bonner, a bounty hunter who is after a serial kidnapper. Ty comes to her office to warn her to be on the lookout as the kidnapper may be meeting his victims through dating services. Ty is a made vamp, and Lil is surprised and dismayed at how attracted she is to him, and keeps reminding herself that born and made do not get together and it would never work.

The story and the dialogue were enjoyable, though Lil is a little too on the chick lit side, being overly obssessed with fashion and clothing and such. Her assistant is a human who knows nothing about Lil's vamp side, and it was a little hard to believe that she never wondered about her nocturnal boss.  Ty was a great character, but was around way too little, though I gather he'll be in future books in the series. He seems attracted to Lil also, and hopefully something will come of that, despite Lil's reservations.

Where the book turned sour for me was during Francis' transformation. Lil has fixed his wardrobe and messed with his hair, but she isn't satisfied with him. So she takes him to her parents' next door neighbor, a werewolf, and talks her into keeping him for the weekend. I never really understood the point of that exercise, how spending the weekend with werewolves was going to make Francis more confident, and when Lil picks him up Sunday night he seems to be a quivering mess who no longer blushes - because they overly spray tanned him - who can't stop blinking.

I have the second book in the series so I'll read it, but I'm not really sure yet how eager I'll be to continue after that.

(I purchased this book at a USB in April 2010.)

05 September 2011

Oregon! (Wagons West, Book Four)


So far my favorite book in the series, and I liked it so much that I'm now eager to get to the next book. It was a little slow going at first, but once the wagon train actually reached Oregon and began to stake their claims and interact with the British settlement across the river, it picked up very quickly. There are many characters, but as the books go along their personalities seem to be evolving more and they're becoming more memorable, which makes me more vested in them. Whip Holt is still one of the more prominent characters, along with Lee Blake and their respective wives. We also meet a few Russians who join with the settlers, British officers - some sympathetic to the Americans, some who want them to leave, and some traiters. What would history be without a few of those?

(Received through PBS.)