Romance, Historical, Contemporary, Paranormal, Young Adult, Book reviews, industry news, and commentary from a reader's point of view

Daily Deals: Books I keep saying I might read…someday

The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk KiddThe Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd. $ 3.99 AMZN | Google Play

From the Jacket Copy:

Living on a peach farm in South Carolina with her harsh, unyielding father, Lily Owens has shaped her entire life around one devastating, blurred memory – the afternoon her mother was killed, when Lily was four. Since then, her only real companion has been the fierce-hearted, and sometimes just fierce, black woman Rosaleen, who acts as her “stand-in mother.”

When Rosaleen insults three of the deepest racists in town, Lily knows it’s time to spring them both free. They take off in the only direction Lily can think of, toward a town called Tiburon, South Carolina – a name she found on the back of a picture amid the few possessions left by her mother.

There they are taken in by an eccentric trio of black beekeeping sisters named May, June, and August. Lily thinks of them as the calendar sisters and enters their mesmerizing secret world of bees and honey, and of the Black Madonna who presides over this household of strong, wise women. Maternal loss and betrayal, guilt and forgiveness entwine in a story that leads Lily to the single thing her heart longs for most.

Never read this but I had always planned to. Someday.

AmazonBNSony KoboBook DepositoryAREApple Google

The Bridges of Madison County Robert WallerThe Bridges of Madison County by Robert Waller. $ 1.99

From the Jacket Copy:

If you’ve ever experienced the one true love of your life, a love that for some reason could never be, you will understand why readers all over the world were so moved by this small, unknown first novel that they made it a publishing phenomenon and #1 bestseller. The story of Robert Kincaid, the photographer and free spirit searching for the covered bridges of Madison County, and Francesca Johnson, the farm wife waiting for the fulfillment of a girlhood dream, THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY gives voice to the longings of men and women everywhere-and shows us what it is to love and be loved so intensely that life is never the same again.
A timeless, universally appealing story of love and loss. In just four days, two people find one another and commit themselves to each other for a lifetime even though they remain apart. Optioned by a major motion picture company for a feature film.

So true confession time. I’ve never actually been to the Bridges even though I have driven by there a few times to see a photographer friend. Neither have I seen the movie or read the book.

AmazonBNSonyKoboBook DepositoryAREAppleGoogle

Lost and Found by Jacqueline SheehanLost and Found by Jacqueline Sheehan. $ 1.99

From the Jacket Copy:

A poignant and unforgettable tale of love, loss, and moving on . . . with the help of one not-so-little dog

Rocky’s husband Bob was just forty-two when she discovered him lying cold and lifeless on the bathroom floor . . . and Rocky’s world changed forever. Quitting her job, chopping off all her hair, she leaves Massachusetts—reinventing her past and taking a job as Animal Control Warden on Peak’s Island, a tiny speck off the coast of Maine and a million miles away from everything she’s lost. She leaves her career as a psychologist behind, only to find friendship with a woman whose brain misfires in the most wonderful way and a young girl who is trying to disappear. Rocky, a quirky and fallible character, discovers the healing process to be agonizingly slow.

But then she meets Lloyd.

A large black Labrador retriever, Lloyd enters Rocky’s world with a primitive arrow sticking out of his shoulder. And so begins a remarkable friendship between a wounded woman and a wounded, lovable beast. As the unraveling mystery of Lloyd’s accident and missing owner leads Rocky to an archery instructor who draws her in even as she finds every reason to mistrust him, she discovers the life-altering revelation that grief can be transformed . . . and joy does exist in unexpected places.

If you love dogs, you’ll love this book or so the reviews say.

AmazonBNSonyKoboBook DepositoryAREApple Google

Friend is a Four Letter Word by Steph CampbellFriend is a Four Letter Word by Steph Campbell. $ .99.

From the Jacket Copy:

They both have secrets…But whose past will catch up to them first?
Shayna Gillan is on a mission: start fresh in a new state without the small town gossip that has haunted her since her bad girl days of high school.

Carter MacPherson has long been the most together member of his crazy family-until now. With a secret threatening to crumble everything he’s worked for, he wishes he could forget the recent past, too.

The last thing Shayna and Carter are looking for is a relationship. It’s best to be alone while they sort out their issues.

Friends. That’s all they can ever be.

But even the best laid plans always have a flaw, and once Shayna and Carter cross the line between friendship and more, there’s no turning back…

The only question left is-whose past will catch up to them first?

So let’s put our thinking caps on. What is a four letter word for friend. Mate? Pals? Dude?

AmazonBNSonyKoboBook DepositoryAREApple Google

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and 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


  1. mari
    Jan 23, 2014 @ 14:36:45

    For what its worth, I hated Bridges. Self-indulgent housewife cheats with exciting photographer. Unhappy ending with a lot of blah blah blah about Life and Choices and the Meaning of it All. Irritating and boring. But short. So there’s that at least. Also, the housewife is Italian so she’s passionate and sensual. Gag.

  2. RowanS
    Jan 23, 2014 @ 14:48:13

    Bridges of Madison County is one of those rare instances where the movie is MUCH better than the book. Streep and Eastwood redeem the storyline.

  3. jamie beck
    Jan 23, 2014 @ 15:53:40

    I have to agree with the others about Bridges…but the movie was enjoyable. I really liked The Secret Life of Bees when I read it, but the details haven’t stuck with me (then again, my memory isn’t the best these days!). Didn’t read the others, so can’t offer an opinion.

  4. Faye
    Jan 23, 2014 @ 16:00:16

    Lost and Found takes place about a mile from the house I grew up in and love, and I love dogs. It should have been the perfect combo, but I was really underwhelmed- it was so full of tell, tell, tell. There are also some odd changes in perspective (the main character’s neighbor’s daughter, for instance). Not horrible, but it wasn’t compelling for me.
    Also, not a romance, though I think there is a kiss.

  5. Janine
    Jan 23, 2014 @ 16:57:13

    I didn’t care for The Bridges of Madison County either. The movie was much superior to the book but still not really my cuppa.

  6. Susan
    Jan 23, 2014 @ 18:02:39

    Glad to see I’m not the only one who found Bridges vastly overrated.

    OTH, I quite enjoyed Bees. I even thought the movie was ok.

  7. Kaetrin
    Jan 23, 2014 @ 18:56:52

    I’m not a fan of The Bridges of Madison County either. Infidelity is not particularly sexy or romantic to me. Hated the book and didn’t bother to see the movie. My mum loved them both however.

  8. Cristiane
    Jan 23, 2014 @ 18:57:42

    So glad to see that I’m in the majority in HATING Bridges. At least I didn’t have to pay for it – I was working in a bookstore when it was at its height, so I could borrow it. I couldn’t stomach more than about 20 pages. Awful, awful book. The movie is better by miles.

  9. Megaera
    Jan 23, 2014 @ 19:01:57

    Urk. Don’t read Bridges. It’s *awful.* Honest. You’ll want the hour or so back, bigtime.

  10. hapax
    Jan 23, 2014 @ 19:37:31

    I’ll come out and say it:

    The only reason that BRIDGES made a splash was because it was a *male* author and he was writing about romance and angst and FEELS (gasp!), not to mention more brand-name-dropping than Bridget Jones on her best day.

    After all, this was before Nicholas Sparks and Richard Paul Evans and James Patterson’s HEATHER’S SHOPPING LIST FOR ZACH (or something like that, I lose track) were burning up the bestseller list.

    If it had been written by RobertA Waller, it would have sunk like the rest of his books.

  11. SonomaLass
    Jan 23, 2014 @ 20:11:21

    I liked Secret Life of Bees. Never read Bridges of Madison County, although I have seen the bridges themselves and the film. I could watch Meryl Streep read the phone book and be entranced, though.

  12. Julia Broadbooks
    Jan 23, 2014 @ 20:37:09

    Oh, thank goodness. A work friend passed me Bridges after telling me at length how life-changingly good it was. I didn’t like it at all, for all the reasons previously mentioned. Glad it wasn’t just me.

  13. Kate Hewitt
    Jan 24, 2014 @ 04:55:36

    I hated both the movie and the book of Bridges, even though the acting in the film was really good. Did not empathise with the main housewife character at all. And I have to say, according to the cover here, Bridges of Madison Country is now a Broadway musical?! What?!

  14. wikkidsexycool
    Jan 24, 2014 @ 07:58:14

    I disliked both the book and movie of The Secret Life of Bees.

    Same old, same old. Motherly caricatured black women who serve as caretakers, a coming of age story for the protagonist who acts as a guide for the reader . . .
    This book may have helped spawn a rebirth of the trope of southern black domestics and their perceived closeness to the families and children they looked after, as well as the stoic, advice giving black Madonna AKA Mammy who is so beloved in American literature.

  15. Isobel Carr
    Jan 24, 2014 @ 09:22:04

    I guess I’m supposed to “assume” the kid in the Bees book is white since hers is the only race not mentioned?

  16. annaR
    Jan 24, 2014 @ 09:58:43

    Re the Robert Waller books: I’m convinced that when he writes his heroes, he is telling the reader what he fancies himself to be (“I am the last of the true cowboys but I’m able to be so sensual”). In addition to all this conceit, the story of the romance comes across as shallow and pretentious.

    However, his last book, PUERTO VIARTA SQUEEZE, took me by surprise. I don’t know why I kept trying his books–a slow reading month?–but this last one actually had multifaceted characterization and a touching romance. If you can ignore some of his slips into egoism and don’t need a HEA, it’s a read you won’t soon forget.

  17. Jenns
    Jan 24, 2014 @ 11:11:22

    Glad to see I’m not the only one who hated Bridges the book. I think that Hapax nailed it: I really believe almost all of it’s success was due to Waller being male. And the novelty of a man writing anything romantic doesn’t seem to have worn off (Sparks, Patterson, etc.).

%d bloggers like this: