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Happy Birthday by Danielle Steel

Happy Birthday by Danielle Steel

The Book:

Source for ‘The Book’ section : From Goodreads

In this beguiling new novel, Danielle Steel tells the story of three very different people, each of whom, on the same day, reaches a crucial turning point in life—a rite both bittersweet and full of hope, a time to blow out the candles, say goodbye to the past, and make a wish for the future.

Valerie Wyatt is the queen of gracious living and the arbiter of taste. Since her long-ago divorce, she’s worked hard to reach the pinnacle of her profession and to create a camera-ready life in her Fifth Avenue penthouse. So why is she so depressed? All the hours with her personal trainer, the careful work of New York’s best hairdressers, cosmetic surgeons, and her own God-given bone structure and great looks can’t fudge the truth or her lies about it: Valerie is turning sixty.

Valerie’s daughter, April, has no love life, no rest, and no prospect of that changing in the foreseeable future. Her popular one-of-a-kind restaurant in downtown New York, where she is chef and owner, consumes every ounce of her attention and energy. Ready or not, though, April’s life is about to change, in a tumultuous transformation that begins the morning it hits her: She’s thirty. And what does she have to show for it? A restaurant, no man, no kids.

Jack Adams once threw a football like a guided missile. Twelve years after retiring from the NFL, he is the most charismatic sports analyst on TV, a man who has his pick of the most desirable twenty something women. But after a particularly memorable Halloween party, Jack wakes up on his fiftieth birthday, his back thrown out of whack, feeling every year his age.

A terrifying act of violence, an out-of-the-blue blessing, and two extremely unlikely love affairs soon turn lives inside out and upside down. In a novel brimming with warmth and insight, beginning on one birthday and ending on another, Valerie, April, and Jack discover that life itself can be a celebration—and that its greatest gifts are always a surprise.

The View:

I have read a few Danielle Steel books but they were not my favorite. I decided to give “Happy Birthday” a chance as I was looking for books to kick-start my Romance Reading Challenge. This is a contemporary romance and I have definitely read worse stories.

The plot moves fast and has love, anger and pain at an equal ratio. The story is normal and there are no major twists or turns. Every thing moves as expected though some of the characters tended to annoy the reader at certain circumstances. As anticipated this is one with a happy ending and obviously has marriage on the cards. The relationship between Valerie and Jack started too quickly for my liking as the situation with the terrorists was not convincing enough. April’s relationship with Mike and the build up of their story leading to their marriage was definitely more real.

I liked April and she brought a lot of excitement to the story. I kept looking forward to how the future would hold for her – will Mike be the father to her child or will she be a single mom? How will she survive the accident to her restaurant? Valerie’s and Jack’s story in comparison was pale and it was just an add-on in my opinion. The book would have done well even if it did not have their romance element. Mike was irritating at the start, but you will eventually tend to like him.

Rated a 3.5 on 5. This is not the best romance novel out there but you will enjoy it as a good summer read.


kavyen

Love You More by Lisa Gardner

Love you More by Lisa Gardner

The Book:

Source for ‘The Book’ section : From Goodreads

WHO DO YOU LOVE?

One question, a split-second decision, and Brian Darby lies dead on the kitchen floor. His wife, state police trooper Tessa Leoni, claims to have shot him in self-defense, and bears the bruises to back up her tale. For veteran detective D. D. Warren it should be an open-and-shut case. But where is their six-year-old daughter?

AND HOW FAR WOULD YOU GO . . .

As the homicide investigation ratchets into a frantic statewide search for a missing child, D. D. Warren must partner with former lover Bobby Dodge to break through the blue wall of police brotherhood, seeking to understand the inner workings of a trooper’s mind while also unearthing family secrets. Would a trained police officer truly shoot her own husband? And would a mother harm her own child?

. . . TO SAVE HER?

For Tessa Leoni, the worst has not yet happened. She is walking a tightrope, with nowhere to turn, no one to trust, as the clock ticks down to a terrifying deadline. She has one goal in sight, and she will use every ounce of her training, every trick at her disposal, to do what must be done. No sacrifice is too great, no action unthinkable. A mother knows who she loves. And all others will be made to pay.

The View:

When I want an entertaining book that I can dedicate enough time too I always look for Lisa Gardner and her D.D.Warren novels are a sure shot recipe for a reading ecstasy. I know I tend to get a bit too obsessed by some author’s but don’t we all?

The plot is captivating. Tessa is found beaten and bruised. Her husband Brian is shot dead by her service revolver and her six-year old daughter is missing. At first instance it definitely looks like the reaction of an abused wife, but where is the child? And again why was her husband’s body frozen and preserved in ice? Is Tessa the victim or is she a master-mind killer. With goons, gambling, policemen, a missing young child and some heart-stomping action – ‘Love You More’ is simply mind-blowing. Unexpected twists are the norm in this book and even for a split second, don’t assume that you know what is coming up; because you don’t. The way the book is written with alternating character narration sets a pace that is remarkable.

D.D Warren is a character you will fall in love with sooner than you expect. Her guts and sheer bravery is commendable. In this book, she is struggling with her relationships and feelings at a personal level but manages to overlook them when the case requires. Tessa is a unique character.. I am amazed by the complexity involved in developing her. Just when I think I know what her plans are, she surprises me and eventually I just gave up.

Rated a 5 on 5. With an exciting plot, great characters and some never before expected twists; this book is a winner.


kavyen

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