Picky Reader – 9

I started reading The Accidental Mother by Rowan Coleman thinking I wasn’t going to like it.  The heroine, Sophie Miller, was portrayed as a bit too ditzy for my liking (and I’ve been accused of writing ditzy heroines).  She seemed naïve in the extreme about how to deal with a couple of young children, professing to have no idea what they might eat or wear or how they might express themselves. 

Sophie moves past the early ditz stage pretty quickly and becomes a responsible adult, although she has a high learning curve dealing with two children thrust upon her after their mother dies. 

Ms. Coleman throws in enough twists and turns in the plot to keep it interesting and gives us a heroine that’s fun to watch as she grows by leaps and bounds throughout the story. 

There’s a lesson for us all here.  Don’t judge an entire book by the first three chapters.

I have no criticism of Smash Cut by Sandra Brown, another of my favorite authors.  Envy was one of the best books I ever read.  My only comment is to ask if you aren’t reading her, why aren’t you?  Read just one of her books and you’ll be asking yourself the same question.

I’ve read all of Marsha Moyer’s books featuring the character of Lucy Hatch starting with The Second Coming of Lucy Hatch, and enjoyed them all, each being a continuation of the one before.  Return of the Stardust Cowgirl was no exception although the story is rather divided between Lucy’s current life drama and that of her step-daughter, Denny.  These books are full of heart and are sort of a sweet, soulful reflection on the various directions in which small-town life can take you.  They’re just plain good reads so enjoy them.

Smoked by Patrick Quinlan is my “guy” book.  It’s a thriller with unique, entertaining characters and a rather high body count.  On occasion I found I had no reluctance putting it down because I’m a wuss and I didn’t want to read about something bad happening to one the characters Quinlan had made me care about.  I find myself rooting for the bad guys because guys who are even “badder” are after them.  This kind of book reminds me a little of the TV show Burn Notice.  The heroes aren’t angels, but you root for them anyway because even more dastardly individuals are after them.  We don’t want the greater evil to win, right?  Smoked also has a bit of, it’s not exactly humor, but light-heartedness to it.  Let’s face it.  When you’ve got a character who’s spent his life as a hired killer and who’s now lost his taste for it, it’s kind of amusing and intriguing to see where he ends up.  The other thing to like about Smoked is the two kick-ass female characters who start out as unwitting pawns and not only survive but thrive through to the end.

Moving on to Leaving Eden by Anne D. LeClaire…I’m torn.  There’s a lot to like about this book if you like this kind book.  It’s told in first person by a 16-year-old girl living in a small Virginia town whose mother died four years before.  A lot of her experiences are relatable.  A lot of the story is the girl’s memories of her mother.  And of course, what story like this would be complete without a few secrets, some belonging to the girl’s mother and one big one belonging to a prominent family in the town.  There’s a lot of character building and it’s done well, giving flavor and color to the small-town setting.  I guess the one issue I had is the slow pace which is consistent throughout and what you’d expect from a book like this.  But especially by the time I was halfway through it (or so it seemed) I wondered if it was really going anywhere.  There are numerous flashbacks to a period where the mother left the family for several months, and as we all know flashbacks slow the pace of any story.  I loved the main character’s “book” where she wrote down important pieces of life advice she didn’t want to forget. 

Is there a way to say I liked the story but didn’t exactly enjoy reading the book?