Swamp Coolers & Bug Spray

Last week I decided to make it “LOVE WEEK” here at KindleObsessed, and failed miserably. My problem was not reading the books (as a matter of fact I read 4 books in total last week) my problem arose when I got this wicked case of writers block on Thursday night. Now, I don’t know if this has ever happened to any of y’all, but let me be very clear about something… IT SUCKS.

Here I was, doing my duty and trying to bring the written word to the masses; when suddenly I found I had nothing to say. So I did what I do best. I blew it off and decided that one missed day on the blog would hurt no one. Wrong again. Friday rolled around and I found myself in the same predicament. 2 books. Not a damn thing to say about either. So here it is Monday, and I’ve decided it’s game time. Time to suck it up, walk it off, and write this damn review. Good or bad I’ve realized that y’all (as book lovers) depend on me, and while I was mopping around the house nursing my ridiculous mental block, I was (at the same time) letting you down. So here it is… book 3 from last weeks pathetic attempt at love week. Enjoy!

When I was a teenager I loved romance novels. I would spend hours on the beach reading Harlequin’s and had an obscene number of Nora Robert’s novels stacked around my room. I absolutely adored the “happily ever after,” the moment where I knew everything would be ok, that life would return to normal, (like at the end of the hour on The Brady Bunch.) Since then however, I have drifted away from conventional (contemporary) romance novels. I would like to tell you my aversion was due solely to literary growth, but then I would be lying. I’m not sure if I ate too many paint chips as a child, or if my inner snob finally took hold of me in my early 20’s but the OLDER I got the HARDER it got for me to stomach romance “covers.” Yes… you read that correctly. I cannot, as much as I try, get past the sometimes hazy looking, almost always cheesy, bare chested, clichés that grace the covers of 70% of today’s romance selections. Thankfully, owning a Kindle has cured me from this little problem. I no longer have to see the cover every time I pick up my book to read it, therefore I don’t have a problem picking it up. Yes… I know I’m completely off my rocker.

Anyways, finding my new found freedom I decided to venture back into the world of the overly-dramatic-but-always-entertaining with a little bit of Susan Wiggs.

Olivia Bellamy was a very unhappy kid. As a matter of fact, she was a very unhappy kid who was forced to spend her summers at Camp Kioga. But while most kids would relish in the freedoms that camp afforded them Lolly was the complete opposite. Known as the “chubby know-it-all” she had no friends, (that is of course unless you count Conner, the tragically beautiful maintenance man’s son who would only speak to her after everyone else had gone to bed.) Olivia is no longer that kid though. Dropping the weight and changing her hair was only the beginning of Lolly’s new and improved life. Not only did she start a successful “staging company” in NYC but she’s also about to become a Mrs. Unfortunately, (once again,) things don’t go exactly as planned and before she knows it Lolly finds herself back at Camp Kioga, only this time she is running the show. What happens when an old flame turns out to be a necessary part of her new journey. Will the secrets that haunt her family’s past wreck her future, and will Olivia ever accept responsibility for her own actions.

Before I dive into the negatives, I want to point out a few of “Summer at Willow Lakes” sparkly moments. For example: Wiggs does a fantastic job of giving her readers “just enough.” We get just enough emotion to feel attached to the characters, just enough drama to keep us guessing, and just enough “huba huba” that it doesn’t distract, but adds to the story. The overall concept of the novel is fantastic, and if not 100% original, it’s at least written well enough to disguise any similarities. The only problem I had with this novel is it predictability. Not the “stories” predictability (although you would have to be a complete moron no to see what was happening) I’m referring to Wiggs need to add a million different “supporting actors” for future use, (which by the way I checked on and yes… there are about 10 more books in this series) I wanted to read a story about Olivia and Conner, and yes, I got that, but I also got character set-ups for at least 6 other books. Just when I would get excited about where the story was going I would flip the page and find myself knee deep in Daisy-the-cute-niece’s story, NOT Lolly’s. As a matter of fact, I got so frustrated in some parts that I found myself skipping 2 or 3 pages at a time to get back to the original plot line. Did this destroy the book? No, of course not, (this is a pretty common occurrence among romance novels) but I will say that I was annoyed enough to drop a star from its rating.

All in all, it was a pretty decent story for someone who wants more than just bed hopping in their books. If that is you, go for it… you might just find a new series to get involved in, however if you are a woman (or man…I’m not going to judge you) that likes a little more sizzle with their steak… this one is probably a little too tame for you.

Happy Reading my fellow Kindle-ites and remember: keep a few books in your car that make you look like a rocket scientist, just in case.

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About Misty

Your friendly neighborhood narcissist. I'm sarcastic, cynical and a bit cranky. I own a soap box so big that sometimes I have difficulty stepping down off of it, and I'm about 94% certain I have multiple personalities. I don't sleep enough, and I read more than any person should ever consider normal. I have anger management issues, especially when I'm stuck in traffic and I have an unhealthy obsession with my Kindle. I am a vampire lovin', zombie obsessed, book-in-hand, iPod freak. You either love me or hate me. You be the judge.

2 thoughts on “Swamp Coolers & Bug Spray

  1. I totally agree with the problem with romance book covers! They are really off-putting for me, too. I think what works is just an affectionate-looking scene, rather than a full on shirtless, lip-smacking, ride-em-cowboy, lol.

    1. I used to have this dream where I got into a wreck, and while the firemen were cutting me out of the car they would see all of these trashy looking novels piled up on my back seat. I found myself being much more embarrassed by the books than the fact that my own clothes had been ripped to shreds by glass.

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