Saturday, February 11, 2012

Honey and the Hired Hand by Joan Johnston

Synopsis: Wanted: Ranch hand to mend fences--and broken hearts. . . — When her first husband, a Texas Ranger, was killed on the job, Honey Farrell swore she'd never risk her heart again. She no longer has time for men, anyway--not with a ranch to run, a dwindling bang account and two teenaged boys to raise. So when cowboy Jesse Whitelaw turns up on her doorstep looking for work, he seems like the answer to her prayers.

But Honey doesn't know that Jesse's actually a Ranger himself, going undercover to break up a cattle-rustling ring--and as she and Jesse get closer, the secrets he's keeping could destroy them both.

My Thoughts (which will result in spoilers just an FYI): So, why does a book that is really not much more than 250 pages (large font by the way) take me almost 80 days to read? Is it because I have ADD? Did I misplace the book while rescuing kittens from trees? Or maybe it just isn't that good of a book. I'm no literary genius but I'm going to go with the latter.

I found that the entire book's series of events were completely off putting and ridiculous. Here as some low lights.

1)Honey and Jesse meet for the first time at a party outside in the darkness. She doesn't see him because of the dark until she almost runs into him. Somehow she isn't frightened by his presence even though he isn't wearing party clothes because he must be a party guest since there was a party going on but he looked more like a down on his luck drifter. When she steps away from him after almost running into him he grabs her wrist. She threatens to scream but they both know she won't. After all there is nothing to be alarmed about a woman coming across a shabbily dressed stranger, after dark, all alone, who grabs her....COME ON!!!!

2)Jesse admits that he had been peeping through the windows staring at her all night. Hello Stalker!

3)"Honey turned to the stranger to excuse herself and gasped....... "You're Indian!" she exclaimed." Um OK....I thought this was a contemporary romance. Well, it was written in 1992 as a Silhouette Desire....those are contemporary right?

4)Honey's friend Angel is terrified of Jesse because he is Indian. Are you sure this is contemporary?

5)Angel can't explain fully why she is terrified of Indians because her time traveling from 1864 to the present would seem far fetched. Time Travel? Really? REALLY?!?!?! Why not? It can't be any more far fetched than people in 1992 being startled by someone of American Indian descent.

6)After only a few days Honey is thinking of breaking up with her boyfriend who asked her to marry him and Jesse is thinking of settling down and having babies with Honey.

And it goes on to chapter 2 (ok maybe chapter 3)but thankfully I've already forgotten most of it. Oh and I was also annoyed with the cover. Pretty cover but it really makes no sense that the barn is sitting in the middle of a field of wildflowers.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Navy Baby by Debbie Macomber

Synopsis: It was a night she'd never forget. . .two strangers coming together in one breathless moment of intense need and heart-stopping desire. But now sheltered Hannah Raymond is expecting the child of rugged naval seaman Riley Murdock--a man she never thought she'd see again. . .

Riley has been searching for the elusive Hannah for months--ever since that night of searing passion left him shaken to the very depths of his soul. Now fate has finally reunited them. Determined to give his child the chance he'd never had, Riley marries Hannah.

They had created he miracle of life together, but would that be enough to spark the miracle of love?

My Thoughts: I think this book overall was a decent one but it did have some flaws that are more book irritants to me than actual flaws.

The heroine is much too naive, virginal and immature to me at the beginning. She didn't take ownership of her own life and she allowed her minister father to tell her that she was getting married because she ended up pregnant even though, by lack of school activity, it appeared she had to be an adult. Her age was a complete mystery too. Despite the book setting up that she was a naive virgin because she was raised by her preaching father I still couldn't buy it. In 1991 when this book was written (and I graduated high school) her lack of maturity just felt false. She wasn't living a sheltered life in the middle of the country in corn and cow land for Pete's sake. She lived near Seattle Washington. And a shotgun wedding? In 1991? In America? Really?

Another 'deal breaker' for me is the additional God talk peppered into the book. No, I was never quoted scriptures but did tire of hearing that a certain incident happened because it was God's will.

I did like the volatile relationship that Riley and Hannah had. They were virtual strangers who ended up man and wife. I liked how hard each of them tried at one point or another to get along with their spouse. I also found myself getting irritated when one of them would provoke another misunderstanding. Glad the book wasn't any longer though because the lack of communication resulting in misunderstandings would have gotten on my nerves too.

Another plus to this particular book is that even though they met and had sex within hours of bumping into each other the love story developed over the period of 8 months or so. There was no instantaneous I love Yous. Thumbs up for that!

So, not a bad book for a Harlequin. Glad I read it. I will not read it again though and am not rushing to read the rest of D-Mac's Navy series.

(originally published in 1991 as a Silhouette Special Edition #697)