Monday, July 09, 2007

It's Wonderful to be a Reader

Reading brings the world to you, even worlds that only exist in someone else's mind.

Yet for a select few, an author's imaginary world becomes so "real" to us that we thrill at the chance to visit it again and again.

I also enjoy reading blogs, specifically author/writer blogs for the insight they give in writing, heads-up about their up-in-coming stories and the inspirations that influenced them.

Sometimes I've received unexpected bonuses. I've cyber-met some wonderful people. I realize I've said this before but it's no less true now than it was then.

I am now adding another bene from blogging. Reading!
Didn't I already say that? LOL, yep sure did. However this time it's just a tad different.
There's a new blog I'm visiting and this week I'm going to be adding it to my sidebar.

I read the synopsis for an adorable sounding story and got in contact with the author, asking if it was already out (it is) since I was interested in reading it. Turns out she needed it reviewed and asked if I'd be interested.

Sense a Very Big Grin coming on? You'd be right. I happy tapped the keys that spelled "yes" and off I went; the results I get to share.

You may have seen this author in my comments but let me officially introduce
Marianne Arkins as it's her book I had the honor of reviewing.

Now That We've Found You by Marianne Arkins

For three years, the memory of Sarah Kirkman's dead husband has kept other men at bay. Her heart only has room for her six-year-old daughter, Melinda. On a vacation to the Smithsonian, the Kirkmans run into Doctor Duncan MacPherson, a paleontologist who befriends her dinosaur-obsessed daughter. Sarah's attraction to Duncan is undeniable but pointless-- he must leave for his home in Scotland the very next morning.But Sarah has forgotten one important thing: Christmas really is for miracles.
My very first impression of Now That We've Found You came from the cover art. I started smiling immediately, and my mood lifted with positive anticipation. Sometimes the message from a cover is a good indication of what you are about to experience, sometimes not. I'm thrilled to say that this particular cover delivers the right message to the reader.

In this story there is a delightful child, Melinda, who exhibits the single-minded enthusiasm that six year-olds possess when they latch onto something that excites them; in this case, paleontology. Marianne captures that focus perfectly. I could "see" Melinda's personality, especially when she voiced her understanding of herbivores. That had me cracking a smile. Melinda's acceptance of Dr. MacPherson flowed naturally and believably.

The angst of guilt that the heroine, Sarah, deals with because of her attraction to the handsome Scottish doctor is not burdensome to the story. The conflict is delivered in just the right amount for the reader to understand Sarah as a person. Her dilemmas and choices could be our own. I liked the fact that at all times, Marianne remembers that Sarah is foremost a mother and handles her first kiss with Duncan with that in mind. The restrained passion resonated in that scene. It was quite hot!
The hero, Duncan MacPherson, is a yummy Scottish paleontologist guest speaking at the museum. I enjoyed the fact that he was written as a very male, caring man with a healthy dose of humor and yet acted like a ... quiet alpha. He knew he wanted Sarah, pursued her with classy and determined maneuvers and didn't fight making a commitment or admitting what he felt, as some alphas are wont to do.

The characters were a delight to watch as they fell in love. At no point did I feel this romance needed to be fleshed out more. Marianne tugged and stroked all the major emotional heartstrings that make this a must read for all romance readers who want an HEA that makes them feel good all over. Once you've read the sigh-inducing ending you'll realize Now That We've Found You delivers romance!
I can attest to that.
This review site is called Long and Short of it - check it out!!!

I thank Marianne for the opportunity to read and review this story. I can only hope I've done justice to a book that ended up being the sweetest love story I've read in quite some time.



Brandy said...

Love your review Michele!

Anonymous said...

What a great contact to make, Michele!

Michele said...

Thanks, Brandy! Can't wait to return the favor...*giggle**

Michele said...

Thanks, Jason! I'm so glad you were able to pop in to see a blog post I'm pretty happy about.

Jill Monroe said...

How fun!

Marianne Arkins said...

Of course you did it justice! Glad you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.