So I just recently got on Good Reads. Yay! Now I’m drowning in a ridiculously long list of "must-reads" that never end. After contemplating why this is happening - I’ve come to the simple revelation that I’m not reading as many books as I have in the past. And I’m reading too many book review posts on the internet. (my thought process: Ooo, they gave that book 5 stars! Now I have to read it.)
Some of these books I'm listing are coming out this year, some are older books that I just recently heard (well, read) about. So here they are, in no particular order (or perhaps a subconscious order unbeknownst to me surfaced?). Either way, let the drumroll begin!
Once Upon A Prince, by Rachel Hauck
Plot: When crown prince Nathaniel takes an American holiday to St. Simon's Island, he's not looking for love. Like everything else in his life, the choice of a bride is out of his hands---a matter dictated by his royal position. But when he meets Susanna under the ancient Lover's Oak in southern Georgia, will romance trump responsibility?
So Why This Book?: A modern fairy tale. Royalty. Romance. And the cover is gorgeous! The plot doesn’t sound that different (The Prince & Me, The Princess Diaries, k-drama My Princess, people), but I’m not against reusing an old idea. As long as the author put her heart into it and gives it her own twist.
Shadow Hand, by Anne Elisabeth Stengl
Plot: By her father's wish, Lady Daylily is betrothed to the Prince of Southlands. Not the prince she loves, handsome and dispossessed Lionheart, but his cousin, the awkward and foolish Prince Foxbrush. As her wedding day dawns, Daylily flees into the dangerous Wilderlands, her only desire to vanish from living memory. But Foxbrush, determined to rescue his betrothed, pursues Daylily into a new world of magic and peril, a world where vicious Faerie beasts hold sway, a world invaded by a lethal parasite. A world that is hauntingly familiar.
So Why This Book?: I loooove fairy tales. And so far, everything from the cover to the blurb looks so promising! Daylily runs away and is pursued by the “awkward and foolish Prince Foxbrush”? How cool is that. I can already see a bumbling prince finding himself through his desire to rescue the woman he loves. And Daylily taking matters into her own hands and just running off into the forest. I’m already rooting for them, people!
Protection for Hire, by Camy Tang
Plot: Tessa Lancaster's skills first earned her a position as an enforcer in her Uncle Teruo's Japanese Mafia gang. Then they landed her in prison for a crime she didn't commit. Now, three months after her release, Tessa's abilities have gained her a job as bodyguard for wealthy socialite Elizabeth St. Amant and her three-year-old son. But there's a problem or two ... or three .... There's Elizabeth's abusive husband whose relentless pursuit goes deeper than mere vengeance. There's Uncle Teruo, who doesn't understand why Tessa's new faith as a Christian prevents her from returning to the yakuza. And then there's Elizabeth's lawyer, Charles Britton, who Tessa doesn't know is the one who ensured that she did maximum time behind bars. Now Tessa and Charles must work together in order to protect their client, while new truths emerge and circumstances spiral to a deadly fever pitch. Factor in both Tessa's and Charles's families and you've got some wild dynamics---and an action-packed, romantic read as Tessa and Charles discover the reality of being made new in Christ.
So Why This Book?: I can’t emphasis enough how much I appreciate novels that do something different. Especially in the Inspirational fiction market. I love a (well-written) book that breaks the mold and takes me somewhere new and unknown. I’m also a big lover of history and culture – I like reading about Europe, Asia, South America and just anything that tells me about people with different mindsets and customs. Here we have a story about a Japanese-American girl with ties to the yakuza (talk about whoa! she must be a tough cookie), who is a bodyguard on top of that?? Like she is already so boss in my mind. The only drawback for me is the abusive husband plotline. I just hate even reading about fictional abusive marriages. It’s just so sad and, honestly, uncomfortable. But for the sake of everything else this book has to offer, I think I’m willing to give it a try. :D
It Had To Be You, by Susan May Warren
Plot: Eden Christiansen never imagined her role as her younger brother Owen’s cheerleader would keep her on the sidelines of her own life. Sure, it feels good to be needed, but looking after the reckless NHL rookie leaves little time for Eden to focus on her own career. She dreamed of making a name for herself as a reporter, but is stuck writing obits—and starting to fear she doesn’t have the chops to land a major story. If only someone would step up to mentor Owen . . . but she knows better than to expect help from team veteran and bad-boy enforcer Jace Jacobsen.
Jace has built his career on the infamous reputation of his aggressive behavior—on and off the ice. Now at a crossroads about his future in hockey, that reputation has him trapped. And the guilt-trip he’s getting from Eden Christiansen isn’t making things any easier. But when Owen’s carelessness leads to a career-threatening injury and Eden stumbles upon a story that could be her big break, she and Jace are thrown together . . . and begin to wonder if they belong on the same team after all.
So Why This Book?: I read a review for this book on Dreaming Under the Same Moon blog and instantly I was hooked. I actually don’t read many contemporary novels. Why? Umm, good question. I guess I just like historical fiction, fantasy or sci-fi because it takes me somewhere I can’t go. Anyhoo, that doesn’t mean I won’t read contemps. I think the “bad-boy” hero may be one of the reasons I’m intrigued. To clarify – I don’t like every bad boy character ever conceived. I thought the prince in The Prince & Me was a jerk and didn’t deserve the girl one iota. But that’s for another review I guess… lol.
Why Do Dramas Do That, by Javabeans & Girlfriday
Plot: Korean television dramas aren't just for Korea anymore—their popularity has exploded across the globe, picking up rabid followings and spawning addictions worldwide. Maybe it's the glossy production value or the fast-paced, addictive storytelling of dramas like Boys Over Flowers, Coffee Prince, or Secret Garden. Maybe it's the family bonds that pluck the heartstrings, or it's the pathos of a hard-won love that rings true with its universality.
Yet for all the universal themes at play, inevitably things will get lost in translation. Like why heroines always get swindled out of house and home, or why heroes will fight tooth and nail to win their beloveds, only to send them away "for their own good." Or perhaps it's the language itself that doesn't quite clear the cultural gap—why does nobody call each other by name? Why is everyone always encouraging each other to go "fighting"?
The authors created the wildly popular blog Dramabeans.com to explore these questions and more, where they deconstruct Korean dramas and pop culture on a daily basis. They take their trademark irreverence to Why Do Dramas Do That? Part 1, where they answer those questions and explore the most common tropes that arise from drama to drama. A must-read for anybody who's ever fallen headlong into a drama addiction, puzzled over a story turn, or wondered, "Why do dramas do that?So Why This Book?: 2 reasons. I love k-dramas! Hehe. No points for the obvious, I guess. And I follow the authors’ blog, dramabeans.com. Honestly they have one of the most expansive blogs about k-dramas. They have episode reviews for about every show out in K-drama history! I usually check their reviews to decide if I want to actually watch a certain show. Also, I can’t help rooting for new writers. I seriously want to read every newbie’s book (though I usually talk myself out of it – for monetary reasons, of course. Hehe.) Overall, it just sounds like it’s a fun read. And maybe they’ll give me answers for questions of my own – like why, in k-dramas, does a person walk up to another person and say, “Let’s talk” and then they have to go to another building/room to do the actual talking. Every single time. Hahaha.