19 October 2012

Review 2: Cupid's Christmas by Bette Lee Crosby

I originally decided to read Cupid's Christmas because I am aBette Lee Crosby fan. Although I have only read two books by author her, she has already become an author whose work I seek out. I had some reservations about this one as it is a romance book, which is not my normal type of book. Although I enjoy a good romantic mystery ala Nora Roberts, I am not much for the "bodice ripper" type of books. This book, however, is a more intellectual romance with the addition of a few heavenly characters and a real down to earth story. As such, it is another winner from this new voice in fiction. 
I enjoyed this book as much as I did Spare Change, which was the first book that I read by this author. Although Spare Changeis not a romance, the two books have a lot in common. LikeSpare Change this one is filled with wonderful characters that are so real that it is easy to become invested in their struggles. I found myself definitely rooting for them and for their fledgling relationships. Also similar is the way Bette tells her story from the viewpoints of several of the characters, a writing device that I find that I really like. I am one of those people who loves to look at things from all sides, and am often found playing devil's advocate with my friends, so it is not surprising that stories told from several viewpoints attract me. By far, though, my favorite viewpoint in this book is that of Cupid. I love the voice that Bette gives to this mythical creature. In fact, I loved Cupid so much that I am hoping that Bette intends to make this a series. I would really love to read more about how Cupid interacts with the humans he is trying to match up and battles the powers that is in the guise of the Life Management Department and The Boss. I almost wish that I hadn't read this one yet so that I could still look forward to reading it for the first time again. I have several other books by Bette on my list of to reads and I can't wait to get them read.

Review: The River by Michael Neale

I have been mulling over how to review The River by Michael Neale. Let me first say, I am not a huge reader of inspirational or life transforming books. I am more likely to read a book that highlights the underbelly of society. I glazed over the synopsis for this book and it sounded interesting, like maybe it could go either way. It definitely turned out to be one of those stories that aspires to be inspirational and life transforming. In fact, if I had taken the time to research the Michael Neale, I would have been more attuned to the type of books that he has written and not surprised by the flow of this book.  I did look him up after reading the book and found that all of his other books are self-help books, so this, even though it is fiction, fits his profile. 
That said,  I liked the story. I thought that the author did a reasonably good job of fleshing out both the story line and the characters in the story. My favorite part of the book was the part where Gabriel was living in Kansas with his mother, and my favorite character was probably Mister Earl. One of the things that I particularly liked is the way that the characters all connected in some way, although by the end of the book I was almost expecting them to have some connection. In that, I wasn't disappointed as the relationships developed exactly the way I thought they would. Another thing I liked about this book was the descriptive writing that the book contained. All in all, though, this book was just a little too much of a mystical, life affirming trip for me. In addition, the use of The River as a metaphor was just a little too transparent. But, as I said, this is not my usual type of read. I have to say, though, after all that, did enjoy the story. And if that is your type of book, this one is well written and would not disappoint.