Books · Reading

What I just finished reading…

For the last eight days or so, I have been tearing through the ACRO series of books by Sydney Croft.  The six books – Riding the Storm, Unleashing the Storm, Seducing the Storm, Taming the Fire, Tempting the Fire, Taken by Fire – are all about characters that have super-human powers. They work for the Agency of Covert Rare Operations (ACRO) and they’re basically badass superhero spies that save the world while battling the rival, evil agency Itor.  Add to this awesomeness some seriously hot smut (this is erotic fiction, y’all) and great romance, and this series was a total winner.

Each book is about a separate couple but two couples have their stories told in tidbits over the six books.  It’s one of these couples, Creed and Annika, that was my absolute favorite of the whole series.  They’re the only couple that reduced me to tears at one point due to their serious angst.  Creed is a ghost hunter with a spirit attached to him named Kat (and he’s covered in tattoos that he was born with completely from head to toe on his right side) and Annika can electrify her body and fry crispy anything and everything that touches her. Their relationship, for me, was the heart and soul of the book and it’s a reason that if anyone tackles this series, they have to read all six books just so that they can see how Creed and Annika end up.

Seriously, though, the books are fantastic.  Full of adventure, people with super powers, and hardcore smut – read these books now!!!!  (All of the books can be found here.)

Books · Reading

One angst-whore’s dream book…

Hi, my name is Rachel, and I’m an angst-whore.

I love a good angsty romance.  Novels filled with unrequited love/star-crossed lovers/lovers kept apart by circumstance are probably among my list of very favorite things.  Thanks to one of my favorite authors tweeting about a book she loved yesterday, I discovered Within Reach by Sarah Mayberry.

Oh my God….

–I need a minute–

*grasps for composure*

Okay, this book made me bawl for more than halfway through it.  It’s about a man (Michael) trying to recover after the untimely death of his young wife, Billie, and Billie’s best friend (Angie), who is grappling with both the loss of her friend and a newfound attraction to Michael. And then “stuff” happens and it gets more and more complicated.  And then the tears start and continue for page after page and I– GAHHH!!!  I just can’t…

Seriously, if you love angst and romance and smut and happy endings, go read this book!


Revisiting “The Bridges of Madison County”

200px-BridgesOfMadisonCountyThe first time I read The Bridges of Madison County, I was probably no older than twelve.  My mom had a copy of the book and I remember her going on and on and on about how wonderful it was.  Already a voracious reader of books with subject matter that was far too advanced for my age group, I snagged it so I could see what all the hype was about.  Once I was finished, my initial reaction was “Ewwwww.”  A book about an old lady cheating with an even older dude that lived like a hippy?  No thank you.  Gross.  Give me my Harlequin books back.

For years now, whenever I’ve heard anything about this book, or the subsequent movie that was made, a little sliver of revulsion ran through me due to remembering my experience with it when I was younger.  This weekend, though, I decided to give it another shot.  After all, I can’t go my whole life with an opinion on something that I formed when I was twelve, right?

So I borrowed it from the library via Kindle (since I don’t read actual books anymore.)

Read it.

And I cried.

Bawled, actually.  Sobbed like a moron.

Now, I’ll admit that the dialogue, especially Robert’s big speech right before he leaves Francesca for the last time, is absolutely ridiculous.  It’s over-the-top, downright soap opera-style melodrama.  But the part where Francesca learns that Robert had his ashes scattered at “their” bridge, just a few miles from her home?  Oh God, I couldn’t contain the tears.  And at the end, where Michael and Carolyn are learning about their mother’s grand love affair with Robert and are heartsick at what she gave up for them?  Lawdy, the tears.

It’s obvious that I should never have read this book at such a young age.  It’s not a surprise that my reaction was a simple “gross” because there’s no way I could have grasped the subject matter when I first read it.  But as a grown woman in her thirties wo knows what marriage is and can be like and has endured the ups and downs? I totally get it.  I understand why Francesca did what she did, and why she couldn’t go with Robert at the end.  Yes, it tore me up, but I supported her decision, even though I knew it meant that she spent the rest of her life with a cloud of “what ifs” hanging over her.

So anyway, when someone mentions this book to me now, I no longer screw up my face in disgust and shake my head.  In fact, I’m sure that I’ll get a little bit misty-eyed.  Just goes to show that sometimes in life, we have to revisit what we think we know about something because we might be surprised with what we find!