Re-reading Lisa Kleypas' Hathaway Series in quick succession...

3/5 so far.  "Mine Till Midnight" is probably the best story overall, but I'm partial to the H/H of "Seduce Me At Sunrise" their longing for each other is a tangible thing.  "Tempt Me At Twilight" is the weakest of the first three, because Poppy is the least developed character in the first two books, so you're like, who is this person who supposedly talks all the time (except in Book 1 and Book 2)? Also, the hero of "Tempt..." is a little harder to like the second-time around...

500th Post!

I try to live my life without irony.  As a young adult in the late 90's it was everywhere, but somewhere around senior year of college I decided it was no longer relevant to me.  Some straight-up truths:

I like romantic comedies, I have to force myself to watch art movies if they are dark/twisted (inevitably the are) and if I do watch them, it must be during daylight hours (same with ghost hunting tv shows.)

I try to keep up with contemporary art - and I'm not afraid to have opinions about it - but knowledge, like militant feminism seems to fade after leaving a university setting.  

After 15 years of DIY rock shows, I find them sometimes boring, sometimes work, and often I'd prefer to stay home.  And still I struggle with DIY ethics and maintaining a living through art.  

I will always undersell myself.  Every. Single. Time.  Let's just say it's a good thing the studio has a shop minimum. 

I consider myself intelligent, and fairly well-read - but I will always choose the romance novel, no matter how silly the cover looks to everyone else.  I started this blog after I decided not to hide my genuine love of romance novels, and seek out the best of the genre - and give my opinions about the rest.

I write to the great unknown, but I'm not bothered if no one ever reads this.  It's a life record, one big long note to self - it's also been written exclusively since we've come back to Johnstown, and it reflects my struggles and triumphs with my hometown and the collective support system within/or around it.

Career Advice

I should really try harder to get paid for reading on porch swings....

"Dreaming of You" - Lisa Kleypas - 1994

A classic comfort read.  Two words: stolen spectacles...

"A Rogue in Texas" - Lorraine Heath - 1999

If she hadn't written one of my all-time favorite romances,  I would probably be more generous with my critiques of her work.  But she created Houston and Amelia - and I will forever compare all other H/H's to them, that being said, I very much like both Abbie and Grayson.  

Grayson Rhodes is the bastard son of a Duke sent to America along with several other peers' second sons to make their fortune.  They arrive in Texas, only to have their hopes dashed when they realize they are merely hired hands - hands that will be expected to pick cotton until they blister and bleed.  

Abbie Westland is a widow trying to maintain her farm and family following the conclusion of the Civil War.  Abbie was married at 16 to a man who was not cruel, but who cared more for his land than his family.   She has three children, but very limited experience with love and passion.

She does not know how to handle a 'rogue' like Grayson, and Grayson has never experienced love in any real form.  Their courtship is wonderful, and I loved the first 3/4 of this book.  There is a last minute wrench thrown at these two and I did not like it, or think it necessary - in fact, it lowered my overall opinion of the novel, but would not deter me from reading more about these British lads making a go of it in Texas...

"A Temporary Wife" - Mary Balogh - 1997

 A splendid Regency novel with all the standards but not the cliches.  A marriage of convenience, a genuine heroine and an icy hero just asking to be thawed.  Lovely. 

"Sweet Lullaby" - Lorraine Heath - 1994

These days, it seems harder for me to get to the library (and when I do, it's even harder to get the books back on time) so I'm trying to work my way through my TBR pile at home.  I've been holding on to this one for quite a while.  "Sweet Lullaby" is by the author of one of my all-time favorite romances, "Texas Destiny" and is it published by Diamond 'Homespun' a series of Americana novels I generally like partially due to their 'quilted' covers.  I had high hopes for "Sweet Lullaby" which may be why it has sat unread for so long.  In some ways my hopes were met, the hero Jake is as beta as the come, such a good person - and WAY, WAY too good for the heroine.  Which is not to say that I disliked Rebecca - she was just an idiot - for most of the book.  I said it out loud, twice, "you are such an idiot!" as I was reading - she's too young and foolish to recognize real love when it's right in front of her face.  

I did like her character's strength and love of ranching - so I must blame Ms. Heath for the poor set up and pacing of this novel.  It is inevitable that she will make a stupid choice and regret it - the way their story is plotted there is no other way.  Rebecca slept with one of her father's ranch hands, once, he left without saying if or when he would return, and now she's pregnant.  Her father refused to be embarrassed or the subject of scandal, so he chooses another ranch hand Jake Burnett to wed her.  He has loved her for sometime without hope of anything, so he tells her of the land he has inherited in Texas and says he will never ask for more than she is willing to give.  We love Jake, he is pretty much perfect - it's Rebecca of course, who continues to think (for most of the novel) that her one night of passion is worth more than the months she spent living, working, and yes, loving with Jake. 

AAR gives this an "A" rating - making it a DIK - I just can't agree.  I liked the H/H very much, and I potentially could have loved this book, but you could see what would happen from the first pages,  and I just could not like their whole story. 

Monday plans...

Since 'Lazy Sunday' is nearly gone (it should be noted that it was only partly lazy, I did laundry and went grocery shopping) it's time for Monday plans.  I think I'd like Planbee to visit my house and help me get things done!  House stuff, Drawings, scheduling, and painting - all on my to do - wonder which will actually get done.  Perhaps I'll get up early and try half hour rotations.

If I can see the floor in the studio - the white of the tub - an empty sink - a pile of trash outside - a stack of finished drawings  - and all fb messages answered - I will be one very happy girl!  

"Wasteland" - Francesca Lia Block - 2003

Part of me wishes all Francesca Lia Block books came with soundtracks and photos...