March 30, 2008

Book #9: Glory Days

I'm averaging three books a month, that's not too bad. Though, I must admit, reading while I'm trying to plot in my head or write isn't always easy. I don't want to steal someone else's ideas, ya know.

Anyway, I should preface how I met this author, because she's a wonderful person and deserves much more than a simple review from me.

I met Ms. Peterson at a book fair in New Jersey late last year. She and a few other authors were there, talking to readers and even wanna be authors like me. They invited me to a RWA meeting, but I never went because I didn't consider myself a "romance" or "woman's fiction" writer. What I've come to learn over the last seven months or so, is that all of my writing has some romantic or relationship angle. I might not write the kind of sex scenes one finds in most books, but after reading Glory Days, I get it a little more. You don't need explicit sex for it to be a romance novel, you just need a realistic relationship between characters.

John, Liz, and Carly have all had it pretty bad. Each has been betrayed by someone they trusted only to find themselves barely living life until they meet each other and begin the healing process.

John is a former bad boy turned FBI agent turned Private Investigator. His past is full of secrets and complications, but when he meet Liz and Carly, his life changes in ways he never expected.

Liz has just returned from California where she left behind an ex-husband and the grave of her infant child. Distraught by the turn of events that led her back to New Jersey, Liz is very cautions and wary of men, especially John, who can't seem to remember the name of any woman he's taken to bed--probably in the last ten years.

Carly, abandoned as a newborn, uncovers information about her past and decides to search for her father. John is on the top of a list of possible fathers and feels obligated to take her case when the police threaten to run her in.

All three are forced to deal with one another as they all live in the same building with a luncheonette on the first floor, run by Flo, Liz's spunky and wise grandmother.

While John conducts his investigation, he can't help but like "the kid", and can't get Liz out of his head. A good guy at heart, John makes sure Carly is taken care of while he's working. Flo and Liz become a surrogate family, allowing her to help out in the shop, take her shopping for clothes, and reassure her she'll fit right in when she goes back to school. John visits old friends searching for Carly's father and eventually tracks down her mother who is still alive and well in Pennsylvania.

Liz takes a liking to Carly right away and tolerates John as best she can as she tries to put the pieces of her life back together. However, news from the west coast sends Liz into a depressive spiral and leads her straight to John's welcoming arms. Immediately realizing her mistake, she tell him it never happened and bolts. But John isn't willing to give up so easily. He wants her more than any other woman he's ever met.

As Carly starts to make friends and grow close to John's and Liz's family, John meets with everyone on the possible father's list, only to realize he's the best choice to be the kid's father. But there's a problem. John made a promise to his former partner and friend, and after his untimely death the opportunity presents itself. John has to make a decision. Keep his promise and loose Liz and Carly, or let his friend's killer get off free and clear.

Aside from the slight jab to my home town of Linden (hahaha-just kidding Irene), I really enjoyed the book. Anyone from Jersey will catch all the inside jokes and recognize the setting easily. You might even smell the salt water of Asbury or the stench of the Turnpike. :-)

Glory Days was smart, believable, and funny with a splash of drama and suspense thrown in. I've always had a problem trying to do funny in my writing, so I'm always fascinated when I laugh out loud while reading because it doesn't happen often.

I finished the book with a smile on my face, glad for a nice, neat, and happy ending. Unlike some movies I've seen recently. Nothing ruins something more than the ending. I'm glad to say that was not the case with this book. Thanks for a great read, Irene!!

I've already started book #10. Depending on how the week goes, I'll either have it read in two days or about a week. I don't really like the 1/2 hour a day lunch time reading, I hardly get anything done that way, but there's still nothing on TV for a couple of weeks, so maybe I'll read when I get home too. I have a shelf full of books yet to be read and I need to start making room. Some of my other favorite author's books are coming out soon.

I'm finished with my second round of editing for Lucky #2. With the help of a friend, I cut out some of the cheesiness and fixed some technical issues. As much as I didn't want to admit it, Lucky is a romantic thriller, suspense, whatever. I know it's my fault for allowing the love interest to appear before I wanted him to. But he took on a life of his own and he's such an awesome character, I had to let him do what he wanted. Lucky, however, is fighting him tooth and nail. It'll take three maybe four books for them to get on the same emotional page, but they will get there, eventually.

I have about 15 pages of Lucky #3 and it's going well for the most part. It's hard to know how much information from 1 and 2 to give out in the beginning of 3 without making the reader roll their eyes. I would hate for someone to read 3 first and be completely lost, so I have to offer some background. Once I get into the meat of the story, I'm sure I'll figure it out. Right now, it's going slowly, but it's going.

No new news on the agent hunt. I'm trying not to get upset again. It's not easy...

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