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A Season in Eden by     Megan ChanceA Season in Eden by Megan Chance. $ 2.99

From the Jacket Copy:

Lora Cameron was once happy in the Yakima Valley that held such promise. But that was before tragedy robbed her life of joy. Now there is only sadness and struggle. When her husband, Eli, leaves for the summer to work at a faraway logging camp, she knows it’s for the best, and for company there is Will Bennett, the man Eli hires to take care of things in his absence.

Will is like no one Lora has ever met. He speaks of Thoreau and sees in her a woman in need of solace and hope and perhaps … change. As summer eases into fall, Will gently teaches Lora how to live again, daring her to reach out to her newly returned husband and find the love–and the dreams–she thinks she’s lost

Originally published by HarperCollins in 1999. The reviews caution that this is not a romance. It’s a moving and emotional story, but do not expect it to have the elements of a romance. (I read this as it having a tragic, unhappy ending).

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If I Stay  by     Gayle FormanIf I Stay by Gayle Forman. $ 2.99

From the Jacket Copy:

A critically acclaimed novel that will change the way you look at life, love, and family.

In the blink of an eye everything changes. Seventeen ­year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall what happened afterwards, watching her own damaged body being taken from the wreck. Little by little she struggles to put together the pieces- to figure out what she has lost, what she has left, and the very difficult choice she must make. Heartwrenchingly beautiful, Mia’s story will stay with you for a long, long time.

This is the first in a duology involving seventeen year old Mia. I liked the second, Where She Went, so much better but primarily because the second involved the culmination of the a love story. The real problem with If I Stay is that you are going to want to spend the $8.99 to buy “Where She Went.”

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Merlin's Harp      by     Anne CromptonMerlin’s Harp by Anne Crompton. $ 1.99

From the Jacket Copy:

When I was yet a very young woman I threw my heart away. Ever since then I have lived heartless, or almost heartless, the way Humans think all Fey live.

Among the towering trees of magical Avalon, where humans dare not tread, lives Niviene, daughter of the Lady of the Lake. Her people, the Fey, are folk of the wood and avoid the violence and greed of man. But the strife of King Arthur’s realm threatens even the peace of Avalon. And while Merlin the mage has been training Niviene as his apprentice, he now needs her help to thwart the chaos devouring Camelot. Niviene’s special talents must help save a kingdom and discover the treachery of men and the beauty of love…

I’ve had really good success with the Sourcebooks YA acquisitions. PW says “he story glows…a mythical tapestry that is at once completely recognizable yet utterly fresh…” Library Journal also gave it a positive review. The negative reviews say that the pace is too slow, lumbering through the fae woods like a slow moving snail who keeps checking the trail behind him to ensure that he is marking his path.

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For Your Arms Only      by     Caroline Linden For Your Arms Only by Caroline Linden. $ 2.99.

From the Jacket Copy:

He’d never been shot by a woman . . .

He was once a distinguished army officer, a man of honor and heroism. But that was before Alexander Hayes was wrongly accused of treason. Forced to abandon everything he held dear, Alec became a spy for England in an attempt to clear his name. His latest commission sounds simple: locate a retired soldier gone missing. But it also sends him back home, to a family who’d thought him dead for five years—and a woman who’d like to shoot him.

Everything Cressida Turner’s ever heard about Alec tells her that he’s a traitor of the worst kind, and yet this enigmatic, infuriating, and utterly captivating man may be the only person she can trust—and the only one who can find her missing father. With nowhere else to turn, she reluctantly joins forces with Alec, unprepared for both the dangerous secrets that threaten them and the relentless passion that drives them into each other’s arms.

I find many negative reviews based on pace, not just for this book but for many of the books selected for the Book Deals page. This story contains flashbacks concerning Alex’s past. One reviewer mentioned this made for a disjointed story and probably contributed to the reader’s reluctance to attach herself emotionally to the characters. There are varying opinions on Cressida. Some found her hard to accept and others liked her smart and strong portrayal.

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Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

4 Comments

  1. Ridley
    Jan 20, 2013 @ 13:23:56

    (I read this as it having a tragic, unhappy ending).

    It looks more like it’s “women’s fiction,” where the story is her story. My one GR friend who’s read it recommends it, FWIW, and the copy makes me expect a hopeful ending, but not a romance-style HEA.

    I’m gonna download the sample. It sounds interesting.

  2. SusanS
    Jan 20, 2013 @ 15:05:39

    I reviewed A Season in Eden when it was first published in 1999 for The Romance Reader website (I am no longer active there) and gave it 4 hearts out of 5. I concluded the review by saying “A Season in Eden isn’t always an easy read. Much of it is trial heaped upon tragedy, and the ending is tentatively hopeful at best rather than joyous. But if you like emotional, realistic, historical fiction that will grab you by the heart, then you need to read this book. “

  3. Pam Keener
    Jan 20, 2013 @ 16:16:36

    I agree with your assessment of If I Stay. I was lucky enough to win a copy but it does make you want to read Where She Went which of course I bought.
    PK

  4. Kaetrin
    Jan 20, 2013 @ 17:54:04

    Not sure to be happy or sad that If I Stay is not discounted for me…

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