Tuesday, October 06, 2009

A Book Review aka I Couldn't Think of a Topic

Current Project: Untitled RS
Status: Coming along

Don't you love it when you pick up an unknown book and it's terrific? I brought home a ton of books from Nationals. Most I started and put down. I try to give them at least fifty pages to hook me. That's pretty generous.

Kristan Higgins hooked me immediately with TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE. Now I understand why she won a RITA for a different book in 2008. Her voice is fresh, funny, and poignant. A contemporary romance from HQN, TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE made me laugh out loud several times. I admire any author that can write funny. I can't. It's truly a gift. Not only funny, Kristan tugs at the heartstrings, too.

The character development is fantastic. The heroine, Grace, has lost her fiancee to her younger sister. To avoid the tidal wave of sympathy, Grace invents a perfect boyfriend, something she's done multiple times in her past. The hero is a hunky ex-con, but her friends and family can't see past his "felon" label. The secondary characters add spice and laughs. The rude grandma, the wimpy ex, the quarreling parents. The dialog between the heroine and these secondaries is skillful and revealing.

I loved this book. I don't read a lot of straight contemporary romance, but I plan to purchase all of Kristan's back list.

What have you read recently that you loved?


Lisa Leoni said...

That sounds awesome, Kendra! I love straight contemporary romance. I used to read only paranormal, but now I read mostly rom coms/straight contemp. The most recent thing I read and loved was actually an entry for the Golden Rose. I liked all of them and honestly want to read each of the full books, but the last one I read really caught me. It was such a cool premise and there were several times where I laughed out loud.

I've also read several contemporaries lately that take place in Scotland, and usually have a Scottish highlander ghost and a modern American woman. They are by several authors, and each are fun in their own way. My faves are the ones by Allie McKay.

Alice Sharpe said...

Kendra -- I hear you about not knowing what to blog about.

As for reading, it seems the more I write, the less I read. I have a new mystery waiting for me on the shelf and Genene's and Eli's books by my bed but right now I'm skimming well known material as the deadline for the WIP creeps ever closer. Ack!

Anonymous said...

Oh my heck, Kendra!! I just finished reading that same novel and I LOVED IT!! *thanks to Debbie for donating it at the last meeting so I could read it!) I love straight contemporary romance and can't find enough of them these days. I'm going to buy her backlist, too. :) Great taste we have. (said in yoda voice)

This past summer I've been working on a couple of contemporary romance stories and beating myself up about them because, supposedly, straight contemporary romance doesn't sell and nobody reads them. Whatfreakinever! I love to read it and wish I knew of more authors like Kristan Higgins. You were spot on in your review. It's a great book.

After finishing this book the other day I've been totally mulling my two contemporaries, and in the shower this morning, (where all good ideas pop into one's brain) I decided to go ahead and work on my stories again starting today.

Your post has perfect, providential timing! LOL

And if any of you that are WAAAY more in the know than I am can correct me on the "straight contemporary romance not selling" thing, please do. I'd love a positive shot in the arm about this genre and to know if I'm off base. :)

Paty Jager said...

Sounds like a good book. I haven't read a straight contemporary romance in eons. I just finished a historical western by Nora Roberts that I started on the trip. Before that I read research books...

I'm with Alice, I don't have much time to read other than for what I'm working on unless I take a trip. I read on the plane, and Alice don't you have a book out this month? I need to check since I'm flying to San Jose the end of the month for a book signing and I'll need something to read.

Oh, Kendra, you asked what I'd read recently that I loved. A book by my friend Lauri Robinson that will be published next year. Historical western. Third book in her Quinter Brothers series. Funny and heartwarming.

Genene Valleau said...

LOL about the what-do-I-blog-about syndrome! That's where I usually am.

I have to line up in the not-much-time to read column and, like Alice, have books from authors I know waiting to be read. (This is a "me too" response to your blog question. Not very original today. :)

But I love a good romantic comedy, so I appreciate your recommendation for Kristan Higgins book.