A Mish Mash of Reads

I find that I'm often an "all over the place" kind of reader, and thus, so are my reviews! There's no rhyme or reason to these titles, nor my reaction to them...

Seven Years to Sin by Sylvia Day was an impulse purchase from a bookstore when I had run out of novels to read on vacation with my friend Monica. But, I loved it! This is sort of a historical erotica novel - set in more of a Regency time period, she witnessed him in sin, and they are tied together for years and years until they can get together. Good setting, interesting characters, a more well rounded novel than I expected, but not as compelling as her "Crossfire" series.

The Spanish Queen by Carolly Erickson took me back to a favorite time period of mine - the court of Henry VIII. This novel, though, fell a bit flat. Queen Catherine of Aragon was such a compelling character in history, but at 288 pages, this novel felt like more of a Cliff Notes version of Catherine, huge swathes of time taking place in a page or two. There's no doubt Erickson knows this time period well, and I love a historical "entertainment" (rather than factual) book, but this one just didn't grip me the way a Philippa Gregory novel does.

The Gabriel's Inferno trilogy by Sylvain Reynard is another "if you liked Fifty Shades / The Crossfire Trilogy" titles, but for the more discerning reader, I suppose. Reynard has a very strong emphasis on the writings of Dante, and features the jaded, older professor and the younger, virginal graduate student. A bit tortured and far-fetched at times, this erotica novel (though less heavy on the erotica and more heavy on the angst) skews more Sylvia Day than E.L. James. I read all three, so there must have been something to it! :-)

The Whole Golden World by Kristina Riggle is about a teenage girl who, when her teacher is put in court for having a sexual relationship with her, stands behind him, instead of her family and the opposing counsel. This novel thus weaves the story of TJ (the teacher) and his long suffering wife, Morgan (the student) and her mother Dinah, and the periphery characters around them. It was a pretty good novel at the time, though not explosive, and now that it's been a bit since I read it, I find I can barely remember the details. Uh oh...

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion was, quite simply, a delight. Don Tillman is a genetics professor (and is clearly on the autism spectrum, to the reader) who decides it is high time he finds a wife. He devises a very specific survey to find the perfect woman. Rosie, whom he meets along the way, is absolutely NOT the right person for Don, and yet...they form this attachment to each other while Don helps Rosie with a project of her own. I don't want to give too much away, except to say this was charming, interesting, laugh out loud funny and left me with a warm fuzzy. I read it super quickly - I couldn't put it down! Recommended!

My Story by Elizabeth Smart was just that - her story of her abduction from her Utah home at the age of fourteen until her reunion with her family nine months later. Elizabeth definitely gives the facts, but glosses over the more graphic bits, and though her faith shines through, it doesn't dominate her memoir. An interesting, albeit very fast, memoir to read.

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