The Rescue

Ahh, Nicholas Sparks, you’ve done it again.

Volunteer fireman Taylor McAden is no stranger to taking risks, except when it comes to one thing, women. Born and bred in the small town of Edenton, North Carolina he really is an upstanding southern gentlemen. He works hard in his own contracting business, goes out at all hours of the day to help others, but the one thing he won’t do is let himself fall in love.

Denise Holton gave her heart and her life to her young son Kyle. Life, and parenting, certainly isn’t what she thought it would be, but that doesn’t mean she’s giving up. One night on her way home from work things go terribly wrong. An awful storm has moved in and in her haste to get home has a terrible accident. The last thing she ever thought she’d be doing is looking for her lost son.

This terrible storm brings two poeple who need each other together. (Aweeee) The question is though, will it last? (Duhn Duhn Duhnnn)

My Thoughts:

The Rescue immediately made it to my list of favorites. The primary reason is Kyle. Damn if that kid didn’t have my heart from the get-go. The other reason is everything that the characters had to overcome to get their ultimate happy ending.

Everything about this book was fantastic. I loved Denise to death and praise her for doing all she has for Kyle. She didn’t bargain for becoming a parent the way she did and when she did, but she took it in stride. When it turned out that not everything was as it should be Denise sacrificed her home and her job that she loves to give Kyle everything she can. That is true dedication to your child, and unfortunately it’s too commonly not something that parents are willing to do for their children.

Taylor, ahh Taylor, how I love myself a tortured hero. What a good, hardworking man he is with of course those obligatory skeletons in the closet. Taylor is sooo good to Kyle, one of the reasons I love him as I do. He’s also an idiot at times, but I understand it better after having finished the book than I did in the middle. He’s been incredibly lucky but still isn’t willing to give up his volunteer position at the fire department which also makes him stubborn. Are we seeing a pattern here? But really, you can’t not love him.

I’ll say this also, I knew that there was some huge, pivotal event headed my way. I was waiting to see what would happen, and when it did it knocked me for a loop. It was one of those things that it should’ve been obvious and once I picked up on it I was going, “NO! NO! Don’t you fucking do it Sparks!” Which of course he proceeded to, which of course meant I hopped off the couch pissed off with tears streaming down my face. (This is also about 2 a.m. I can imagine how it would’ve looked had I awoken my mother.)

All of that leads me to my next piece, the warning. This is a tearjerker. If your cold and have no heart then you probably won’t care. If your heart beats then be prepared for tears. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t crying almost constantly for the last 100 pages or so of the book. It was one of those, your tears literally just dried up and something happens bringing new ones out. Awesome.

The bottom line: Great book, amazing read. On my favorites list for good, I’ll be going back to this regularly, I’m sure of it. So curl up in a hoodie and sweatpants with a box of tissues and a cup of hot chocolate or tea or whatever your poison happens to be, and enjoy the story.

Born in Ice

Born in Ice is the second book in the Nora Roberts Born In trilogy. This book follows Brianna Concannon, the younger sister of Maggie, from Born in Fire.

Brianna was able to achieve her dream of starting a good Irish B and B, and her efforts are paying off. She is known as the best cook in the area, and her home is praised by all who come to stay, even if it is only a day or two at a time. At the start it is the middle of winter, and that’s her slow season, yet this year she has a guest, famed novelist Grayson Thane, and American running from his past trying to look solely at the here and now.

Grayson and Brianna share a strong attraction to each other from the moment they meet, but Brianna is dead set on keeping the relationship professional, after all, she is his landlady. The two begin to learn a bit about each other, mostly surface stuff, but when they become lovers it all comes out, eventually. Grayson is lost in Brianna’s beauty and innocence, and Brianna ultimately wants to simply be there for Grayson, give him a home and love him like no one else has. Down the road they try to go their separate ways, but in the spirit of happy endings, of course they end up together for the long run.

How was this one for me?

First, I’ll say that regardless of my little summary above, I absolutely loved this book. Not only is it my favorite of the trilogy, I actually gave this one a spot on my shelf of favorites. I had so many things I wanted to say about this book that it’s why I did not review all three in a single post, and also probably why the summary is so shoddy, because there is so much to say.

Nora Roberts turned me into a romance book lover, I’ll just throw that out there quick…

I love Brianna and Grayson together. Truly! When I see the cute old couples going shopping or out at dinner together, holding hands after a long fifty or sixty years together, that is how I picture these characters, I actually pictured them more as real people than characters though. I could pretty much see them as they came together and then my imagination just runs away and pictures the life they up having.

Grayson is probably one of my new favorite literary characters. Throughout the book, you learn more about what his life was like before he found his love of writing. I love how he had to work so hard to keep his head cool when he was around Brianna, those internal struggles made him seem less fictional. Constant battles and a hard past. A tortured soul, or tortured hero, my favorite. 🙂

Brianna has struggles of her own. Even though her mother is no longer living with her, she is still a pain, has to put her two cents in about everything, and is grumpy, no matter what. Brianna struggles when Grayson meets her mother, especially since it doesn’t take long for her mother to accuse her of having an affair with him, though it hadn’t happened yet. She asserts herself in this book. I loved seeing her so strong. She also begins to deal with the family drama of finding a letter written to her father by a past lover, one who informs him she is having his child. Brianna also falls deeply in love with Grayson, yet she knows that he probably won’t be able to return it. She makes him a home as best as she can, but knows he is probably going to leave anyway. Yet, a new side is awakened within her, thanks to Grayson Thane.

When it comes down to it. I just loved this one. I loved the intimacy Brianna and Grayson shared. I laughed and cried. I even yelled at it a couple of times. Scary how much this book has opened my eyes to the world of romance novels. Either way, a straight-up fantastic read.

Generation Kill

Evan Wright, a journalist spent two months embedded with the 1st Reconnaissance Battalion Marines during the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Originally, his account was a three part series in Rolling Stone magazine. In 2004, he published Generation Kill, a full length novel.

Generation Kill gives a view of the war from the perspectives of those fighting it. It isn’t bogged down by a bunch of Capitol Hill excuses and it certainly isn’t sugar-coated. Wright himself gets to experience a whole lot during his time with the marines, from supply shortages and how they affect the men to getting shot at when sitting in the back seat of a humvee in a combat zone.

What I liked most about reading this is seeing how all of these men, with such different backgrounds and personalities come together and fight. I liked the honesty that is shown. There are incompetent and crazy officers, a translator who no one can be quite sure about, and the many different people that stand up to do the jobs that other people couldn’t believe. I was also able to form a whole new view of everything that is happening in Iraq during the war based on the views of those on the frontline.

I absolutely loved this book. There were times that I stared at the pages in disbelief, especially at the lack of proficiency expressed by some of the officers as well as the reserve units that met up with them. The rest of the time I was usually laughing. Though some of the humor was incredibly raunchy, I couldn’t help but laugh. Some of the views expressed and the different ways everyone acts were too much.

By far one of my favorite reads!

The Reader

The Reader is the story of Michael Berg, starting when he is 15 years old and following him through different points in his life as he faces the reality of his relationship with a much older woman. He meets Hanna Schmitz one afternoon when he gets sick, and after a battle with hepatitis goes to find her again to thank her for her kindness. The two begin a passionate affair that lasts several months. One day Hanna leaves without any word, and Michael wonders what he did wrong. His relationship with her overshadows his future relationships with women.

A few years later, his relationship with Hanna comes back to haunt him. While in law school, Michael is required to attend a court case for a trial of SS guards. Hanna is among one of the defendants. During the trial Michael is faced with a whirlwind of emotions. Yet Michael still doesn’t get his closure. That doesn’t come until he is an adult and he is attempting to fulfill what were her last wishes.

I fell in love with this story, I couldn’t put the book down when I read it and it has found a place among my favorite books. The struggle of feelings – emotions – that Michael constantly faces throughout his lifetime is so easy to relate to. He built something of an attachment to this woman, and when she leaves, he is faced with a torment he didn’t expect. I love how human and fragile he is, and how much he needs to experience in order to come to terms with his past. Overall, an awesome read.