You Came Back by Christopher Coake
I really wanted to like this book enough to give it a “Read This” rating, especially since a friend with good book taste recommended it, but I just can’t force myself to do it. The story premise is a good one, and not one I’ve seen before. A man is eight years removed from losing his son, who died tragically in their home, and has finally made progress in his recovery — moving on to a second life chapter with his new fiancée. That is, until a strange woman starts to stalk him, then reveals she now owns his old home and his son is haunting her son. I like the emotional path the author chose for the father, but feel like there was a lot of back and forth that was not necessary and stalled the advancement of the story. Overall, I liked Coake’s writing style – just could use about 50 pages less of it!
Arranged by Catherine McKenzie
After a failed relationship, one night the lead character discovers a business card on the ground that intrigues her. Thinking the company was a dating service, she calls only to find out that they provide arranged marriages. As a last ditch effort for finding love, she goes along with it. Of course, nothing goes just as planned. I was particularly was amused by the main character being saddled by her mom with the name Anne Shirley to pair with her last name of Blythe, a character from the LM Montgomery Anne of Green Gables series, because her mom was obsessed with the book series. Awkwardly, her brother was named Gilbert Blythe – who was Anne of Green Gables’ husband in the series. These character names may have been the original reason I purchased this book.
Forgotten by Catherine McKenzie
Having enjoyed “Arranged,” I downloaded another one of Catherine McKenzie’s books. This one follows the story of a woman who loses her mother to illness, and it was one of her mother’s wishes that she travel to Africa. Timing could not have been worse because only a few days in to the safari, a massive earthquake hits the region and she is stuck in Africa with no way to communicate for six months. Meanwhile, back at home, her life is basically erased – apartment has been cleaned out, accounts frozen, job replaced. The book follows her as she gets her life back on – a different – track.
Swim by Jennifer Weiner
This was a quick e-book that was a prequel to Jennifer’s more recent book “The Next Best Thing” that I read back last winter. (link)
The Heist by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg
Any book by Janet Evanovich is a guilty pleasure of mine. If you like the T.V. show White Collar on USA Network, then you’ll like this first book in a planned series. But instead of the Neal Caffrey character being paired up with a male Agent Burke, this con artist’s partner is a female FBI agent who knows him inside and out and was the only person to ever capture him.
Anne of Green Gables Series by Lucy Maud Montgomery
If you caught my recent “Favorite Things” post, you will know how much I loved the Anne of Green Gables T.V. mini-series growing up – and still love it now. When I was a kid, though, I was not as avid a reader as I am now, so I never got around to reading the Anne of Green Gables books series until this summer. I made it through the first five books, from Anne getting adopted to having children with Gilbert in their “house of dreams,” then stopped because the story was straying too much from what my imagination had envisioned for years about what would happen next after the end of the first two T.V. mini-series. It was interesting to see how much the story lines differed. There were still some amazing passages that were not captured in the T.V. representations that only serve to further solidify Gilbert Blythe as one of literature’s most romantic male lead characters, so I was glad I finally got around to reading the books.