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Thursday, 1 November 2012

Autumn Reads

Welcome to my little Niche within the library. So grab a coffee and let's review some books. Where The Heart IsWhere The Heart Is by Jeanette Hornby
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Eighteen year old Daniela Santé returns to her home in Waroona, Australia, from Perth, where she had been staying at a friend's house while attending secretarial college. Breaking up from her boyfriend, Darren, Daniela thought that by coming home she would find peace and comfort; but little did she know that her life back home would be anything but comforting.

Once home, Dani discovers that there was a stranger living at home...a good-looking Italian Chef named Antonio. Antonio was a house guest of her parents who had lost his parents recently in Italy. Dani finds Antonio pleasantly annoying. Being Italian herself and loathing her heritage, she finds Antonio representing all she loathes about being Italian. Not only did this stranger take her old room, but it seems that, like her father, he tells her what to do. Besides this nuisance, Dani faces the unprecedented realization that her life in Perth was anything but safe. The underlying theme of the book is "Home is where the heart is" Antonio repeats this saying several times. Being accepted is very important to people and Antonio Bartolini came to call Waroona , Australia, home. Dani, always felt out of place with her Italian heritage, but Antonio and Navid helped her settle down and accept her true heritage.

I found the book to be well-written and interesting. I couldn't put the book down. I kind of knew whom Dani would end up with in the end, but Navid's character threw me off that scent in places; I thought Dani would end up with Navid as she found him to be easy to talk to and she grew very fond of him. This book has drama, romance, gossip, and even crime. I did wonder in places why Dani's parents were so strict. I mean, come on, an eighteen year old girl whose parents questioned whom she went out with and held a tight grip on the girl seemed quite unreal; but, after thinking about it, Italians, like the Cubans, are quite over-protective of their daughters. My parents were quite over-protective of me. My parents were Cuban and they over-protected me, even to the point as not letting me go out with anyone or even go out on my own without questioning and interrogating me....even when I was in my thirties! Yikes! Never-the-Less, They did it out of love, concern and because of their heritage.

Bah, Humbug! A Romantic Comedy NovellaBah, Humbug! A Romantic Comedy Novella by Heather Horrocks
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A Festive Read!

Lexi Anderson, aka known as Alexis Anderson, a thirty-something divorced mother of two children and the next Martha Stewart has just moved in to a new house in the middle of what's known as Christmas Lane. She soon meets her next door neighbour, Kyle, a well-known author whom her children love. To her horror, however, Lexi discovers that this is not the man she envisioned her children's favourite author to be, as she caught him red-handed destroying her snowman.

Best-selling author, Kyle Miller, is known in the neighbourhood as Scrooge. When Kyle sits down to finish his next book he is stuck, for he is suffering from Writer's block. To add to the pressure, his editor has asked him to hand in the finished manuscript before the holidays are over. Taking a walk through the neighbourhood in what he hoped might inspire his muse, he discovers his neighbour's snowman. He thinks of a plot in his head that would help write the ending to the book. Inspired, he heads out to see if he can hide a weapon inside the snowman to see if the character of his series of books would be able to in an attempt to hide the evidence. Just as he was about to hide a small flashlight in the snowman's head, Kyle is caught red handed by Lexi.

Kyle tries to apologize to Lexi for meeting each other on the wrong foot, but she won't accept his apology. Still, she is mesmerized by his charms. Having lost her parents when she was young, Lexi married for the wrong reasons. When her husband left her, she vowed never to get involved with a man again. Having lost his mother, Gabriella at Christmas Eve many years ago, Kyle and his brothers and father are still grieving for their loss. They do not celebrate Christmas. But when Lexi offers to cater a Christmas Dinner at Kyle's place for his family, she puts back the meaning and joy of Christmas into the family's heart and in the process discovers she is part of this new family.

I enjoyed everything about this book. It was well-written, entertaining and has well- rounded characters that come alive as the story unfolds. The book is short enough to read in a few hours if you are an avid voracious reader or in two days; yet the book is not that short to disappoint. The story is rich and interesting enough to keep the reader turning the pages. I can't wait to read the author's other stories. This book really put me in the festive mood.

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