The Paris Wife

51m40jzixl-_sy344_bo1204203200_  I’ve never been to Paris, but I’ve always wanted to go. I sometimes feel like I was born into the wrong era. The 20s seem like more of where I should be. The Paris Wife transports me to both.

Following Ernest Hemingway and his first wife, Hadley Richardson, The Paris Wife depicts life in the roaring 20s in Jazz-era Paris. The bohemian lifestyle is just beginning and creatives are flocking to Europe. This eclectic novel covers Hemingway’s beginnings and his struggle to make it as a writer. The Paris Wife also explores what it’s like to love someone but love yourself more.

Paula McLain does a wonderful job of pulling her readers in. Lovers of Hemingway will enjoy this fictional glimpse into his life. Even those who take no interest in Hemingway will find something to love in this novel. McLain can paint a picture with her words and pour emotion onto the pages like no other. I highly encourage any reader to pick up this wonderful novel.

A Prayer for Owen Meany

4473 I had never had the pleasure of reading any of John Irving’s books. Little did I know how much of a prolific writer he is. When I was younger, I’d watched the movie Cider House Rules, but being that young I couldn’t really appreciate it. I’d like to go back and watch it again some day.

As part of the book club I take part in, A Prayer for Owen Meany was chosen. I was a bit dubious as to whether I would enjoy this story or not. I know they say never judge a book by its cover but I still tend to do so. And I was definitely not impressed with this one. Written in 1989 about two boys growing up in a small town of New Hampshire, I wasn’t inspired to devour this book as quickly as I usually would.

However, I was pleasantly surprised. We are introduced to the two young characters, John Wheelwright and Owen Meany, as their friendship grows and the adventures they encounter through their years. The town of Gravesend is the setting for these youngsters as they learn to grow up through whatever life may throw at them. Tragedy strikes early and sometimes the boys seek out trouble of their own, but through it all they stick together.

Owen Meany, a strange little boy, is even stranger when it is revealed he thinks that he is God’s gift and that he was put here for a purpose. How many times have we wondered what our purpose is? And here is this young boy who already seems to know. Owen’s “knowledge” makes their escapades even more interesting.

Parts of Irving’s book were a bit dry, and the story was a tad difficult to get into, but after a few pages, it was hard to put down. The ending is a bit predictable but A Prayer for Owen Meany certainly is thought provoking and entertaining.

Wicked Intentions

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I’ve read a few of Elizabeth Hoyt’s books in the past. They’ve always been very enjoyable. So when I had the chance to read her newest book, Wicked Intentions, I was very excited.

Ms. Hoyt is quite the storyteller. She manages to pull the reader in and not let them go. And if you’re into romance novels, she’s an exquisite writer. Wicked Intentions is no different.

Set in London, the story opens upon the widow Temperance Dews. Now a co-owner of her father’s charitable orphan home, she and her brother Winter are fighting to find a way to keep the home open and help the children of St. Giles.

One evening she is approached by a mysterious Lord Caire who seeks her help in an investigation. By doing so, he will introduce her to the high and mighty of society to see if she can find a patron for the home.

The characters are loveable (and frustrating at times). The story flows well and leaves no questions unanswered. However, the erotic scenes in the book seem oddly placed in context with the storyline. Not only that but there is a touch of BDSM in the scenes which makes me feel like Hoyt is simply trying to ride on the success of Fifty Shades of Grey. I’m not opposed to this but it feels as if this detail was put in the story simply to attract the same audience. As the story comes to an end, it’s almost as if Hoyt became weary of writing and just wanted the story to end. Very anticlimactic.

For a quick and easy read, this book is perfect. It doesn’t require much thought to follow the progression of the story and allows for some mystery throughout. If you’re looking to get into Elizabeth Hoyt’s novels, this would be a good first choice.