September 25, 2010 The Secret of Joy by Melissa Senate
I just got finished reading this book and I just had to come post about it. But now, I'm having trouble translating the fact that it just made me feel warm and left a smile on my face into words.

Rebecca's father dies and when he goes, he leaves her with a mystery that shakes her world. In the process of trying to figure out what to do next, she finds herself in a small town in Maine, meeting a cute guy, adopting a dog and trying to piece together a family. I really love how Senate writes the town where Rebecca lands and it almost made me want to pick up everything and move to a clapboard house in a small New England town. Of course, everything seems lovely in the summertime in New England.

I really enjoyed watching things fall into place for Rebecca, even if she didn't realize it in the moment. Her father gave her a gift with his lie and introduce her to the idea that her life didn't have to continue as it was going. It hit me in all the right places with its escapism and lovely leading man. And it made me want to travel to Maine, which I've not wanted to do since I was attacked by killer bugs on my senior bell tour. Only if I can meet a Theo though!

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posted by Jenn at 8:46 PM 0 comments

September 20, 2010 Doomed Queens: Royal Women Who Met Bad Ends, From Cleopatra to Princess Di by Kris Waldherr
I got the rec for this book from Katie's blog and I wasn't disappointed.

Just like the title says, it's a quick synopsis of each queen's life (just two pages) with a helpful moral lesson and a quiz at the end of each chapter. There's also a quiz at the end of the book to determine whether you are a doomed queen. There's much more emphasis placed on ancient and historical queens than modern day (the last chapter goes from a queen in 1814 to Diana Spencer), but it was a quick, fluffy read that I enjoyed during my pedicure yesterday and lunch break today.

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posted by Jenn at 3:24 PM 0 comments

September 16, 2010 Questions to Ask Before Marrying by Melissa Senate
I was delighted to find another Melissa Senate book on the sale table at a local Barnes & Noble. I had thought I had read them all a few years back, so I was happy to see another one in the pile.

This one started out promisingly enough with sisters on a road trip, on a mission and a love triangle for our heroine. But in the end, the sister's story is more interesting and I'd be more inclined to see the events from her point of view. They meet some interesting characters along the way from Maine to Las Vegas, reminding me of my own cross-country trips. I was also jealous that they had time to stop and see those weird/cool roadside attractions that I never seem to have time for when I'm schlepping from one coast to the other.

The book loses steam once they get to Las Vegas and I was disappointed in the ending for our heroine. Not my favorite Senate, but I'll keep her as a favorite.

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posted by Jenn at 2:07 PM 0 comments

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