A lot has changed since this time last year. August of 2011 had the Hurricane Irene where my boyfriend and I were in hiding in North Jersey with my parents at my aunt and uncle's home. We survived the hurricane and I am now a wife! Big change, right? I know my previous blog's focus was mostly how I was unemployed and how I wanted to vent to other young 20-somethings out there that I, too, sing unemployment. Even though I have still been a substitute on and off at different school districts and I have nothing solid lined up for September, I am no longer holding any angst or anger or bitterness towards the situation. I realize that are more important things in life than going on and on about things that aren't going your way. Everything happens for a reason, which is definitely one of the many mottoes I live by...I mean, how else could I explain ending up with my amazingly fabulous and cute husband, huh? ;-)
This new, revamped, remodeled, re-everything blog will be about more enjoyable things...BOOKS! Yes, my amazingly fabulous husband bought me a Kindle Fire and I've been reading non-stop. Nope, I haven't hopped on the 50 Shades of Grey bandwagon since I always tend to read the hot-list books after they've cooled off (I've always been that way...did it with the Twilight books, haven't even started The Hunger Games..I'm getting there!). I really enjoy reading books that are rarely talked about or even mentioned at all. Yes, that's right, the FREE Kindle books! OK, OK, these books are not mysterious and unknown novels that with me reading them, I will unlock all the answers to all of the questions of the world. But hey, if I like reading and reviewing and you like reading, reviewing, and commenting on my blog...it's worth it right?
Knowing I have an endless supply of free books on my Kindle (when it's charged) really does excite me. Yet, I have never written a book review before on a blog or really ever for that matter...unless you count book reviews in elementary/middle/high school which I'm not. I did go to college and major in Education and English Lit Studies, so I do have somewhat of an idea of what I am doing and where I am going with this. Even though I am an English major, please do not hold it against me if my grammar/syntax/diction/punctuation is a little off. I do get carried away with all of the commas and slashes and semicolons, I apologize for that now. I'm not used to writing online and I want to write as it flows through my brain to my fingers onto the keys. So, let me start off with what I've been reading lately and why.
Summer is coming to a close and I have always loved Halloween and how kids get so pumped for the candy, the decorations, and the scary movies. To get me in the mood, I typically watch scary movies and one of my staples is my ultimate favorite Halloween movie, which is obviously Halloween (Jamie Lee Curtis, awesome yet completely unlucky heroine). Instead of watching spooky movies, I thought I'd read some free, spooky novels. And to be completely honest, I have been pleasantly surprised. I will start off with my most recent read My Dear and Loving Husband and Her Loving Husband's Curse, aka the Loving Husband Trilogy written by Meredith Allard.
My Dear and Loving Husband by Meredith Allard
"James Wentworth has a secret. He lives quietly in Salem, Massachusetts, making few ties anywhere. One night his private world is turned upside down when he meets Sarah Alexander, a dead ringer for his wife, Elizabeth. Though it is years since Elizabeth's death, James cannot move on. Sarah also has a secret. She is haunted by nightmares about the Salem Witch Trials, and every night she is awakened by visions of hangings, being arrested, and dying in jail. Despite the obstacles of their secrets, James and Sarah fall in love. As James comes to terms with his feelings for Sarah, he must dodge accusations from a reporter desperate to prove that James is not who, or what, he seems to be. Soon James and Sarah piece their stories together and discover a mystery that may bind them in ways they never imagined. Will James make the ultimate sacrifice to protect Sarah and prevent a new hunt from bringing hysteria to Salem again? " - Amazon
During one of my long-term subbing stints as a high school English teacher, I taught The Crucible and loved every minute of it. I would get a bit animated and the students seemed to enjoy that part the most. After reading this novel, I realize that Ms. Allard REALLY did her homework with the Salem Witch Trials. Because of that research that was placed in the novel, I was really enthralled and that was definitely the drive for me to keep reading. I am more open minded when it comes to novels, I'll read anything from any genre and give it a chance. At first I was little put off by the character developments. The main female character, Sarah, came from LA and seemed completely and understandably lost in her new surroundings (Salem, Massachusetts) yet seemed to makes friends with her boss quite quickly. When the main male character was introduced, James, I wasn't sure why the author decided to introduce him they way she did before really giving the reader a chance to feel comfortable with him (I was confused and blind-sided to be honest). Yet, a magical and amazing thing occurred...everything fell into place! I completely understood why the author introduced them in that way, but you really do have to keep reading for it all to make sense. My favorite part was the history that was put into the story and since Ms. Allard was/is a history teacher, it made complete sense. The history definitely strengthened the story for me personally.
Readers, if you do not like hocus-pocus, fantasy, paranormal romance novels...then this is NOT the material for you. Like I said, I'm open to anything so it didn't really put me off knowing I was reading a paranormal romance novel. I've read a couple of these sort of novels recently and I think I'm starting to really have a craving for it (no pun intended ;-) ). So, of course when I realized there was a PART TWO to this novel...I downloaded it!
Her Loving Husband's Curse by Meredith Allard
"And then, as if he could read her mind, he said, “We’ll be all right, Sarah. Just the two of us. I’ll never leave you ever.” Finally, after many long and lonely years, James Wentworth’s life is falling into place. With his wife, Sarah, the only woman he has ever loved, he has found the meaning behind her nightmares about the Salem Witch Trials, and now they are rebuilding the life they began together so long ago. But the past is never far behind for the Wentworths. While Sarah is haunted by new visions, now about the baby she carried over three hundred years before, James is confronted with painful memories from his time with the Cherokee on the Trail of Tears. Through it all, the persistent reporter Kenneth Hempel reappears, still determined to prove that the undead walk the earth. If Hempel succeeds in his quest, James and Sarah will suffer. Will the curse of the vampire prevent James and Sarah from living their happily ever after?" - Amazon
The only thing I can say about this novel, besides it being as good as the first and maybe better, is that the ending NEARLY killed me. I could NOT believe it and I literally shed a few tears at the end. I must admit I am somewhat of a crier but come on! I really was not expecting it and now I am dying for part three of the trilogy. Even though things came together at the end of the first novel, all loose ends and/or confusing aspects are tied together by the second novel. I really don't want to say much more since I want readers to get into it. But I will say this...if you enjoyed the first novel, you HAVE to read the second one.
The Final Word
If you are into fantasy, sci-fi, romance, paranormal romance, mystery, and history and you are open to the world of magic and the paranormal love, then these are the books to read!
Stars: 4 out of 5!
Welp, that was my first official, non-collegiate book review...hopefully it wasn't that bad. Also, I hope I get some followers! I really would love some feedback! Going along withe the "followers" topic, if there are any novels that I should read or definitely have to, NEED to read please let me know. I would happy to comply and possibly write a review or two. Thanks again! :)
Click here to learn all about Meredith Allard, what she's working on next, and other things about the author!