My hunky, romantic writer, Nicholas Sparks, is one of my all-time favorites and not because he’s a Pulitzer Prize winner (at least, I think not ?!?). I like him because reading one of his books is like going to a good romantic comedy… or drama movie… I just get lost. I dream. I think that I could fall in love with that guy who just came to town, or that men really are as great as his heroes. Like I said… I just get lost. And, I don’t care.. because I LOVE TO!
Now, I have to share… ever since I started blogging about Book Reviews, just a mere 2 months and 8 days ago (only that long?), my reading eye has changed. I’m almost ashamed to admit it. Before, I was just really happy to get an easy book… a fun book… something for the bubble bath or soccer practice. Now, after reading so many great works, my reading tastes are starting to change and my reading eye is becoming more discerning. How did that happen? Lisa did not warn me about that! So, after Shana reminded me that I had two “not so good” reads/reviews in a row…. I was determined to read A GOOD ONE!
Guess what happened? The first 4 chapters of my wonderful Nicholas Sparks’ book, I yawned through. I was totally disconnected from. It forced me to take a look at myself. I am NOT the world’s appointed book critic for literary perfectionism… no, I am Sher… who loves cheesy, fun, funny, romantic, and not scary books! So, for Goodness Sakes, Sher, snap out of it and FRIGGIN’ ENJOY THIS BOOK!
Author: Babe-A-Licious aka Nicholas Sparks
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing/Hachette Book Group USA
Author Website: www.nicholassparks.com
Publisher Website: www.hachettebookgroupusa.com
Pages (Hardcover): 326
ISBN 10#: 0-446-57993-9
ISBN 13#: 978-0-446-57993-3
This is a typical, lovely, and heart-warming story, Nicholas Sparks’ Style! The setting is in Hampton, North Carolina, a relatively small community. Our heroine is Elizabeth (“Beth”), a single mom who lives with her Nana on a farm-type property with a wonderful old house and a kennel. Nana is a dog trainer and has quite the customer base who bring their dogs for “Doggie Boot Camp” from as far away as Florida. Beth’s son, Ben, is a wonderful kid who is intelligent and soft-hearted. His less-than-desirable father, Keith Clayton, is a P.I.T.A. for Beth and Ben. He is a local sheriff and is the grandson of the town’s wealthiest man, also “Ben,” who practically owns 1/2 the town, or at least the real estate in it. Beth and Keith met when they were young, had an unplanned pregnancy, married, and shortly thereafter divorced. That was when Beth and Ben went to live with Nana and the doggies!
We come to find out that Keith Clayton is a womanizer and a heavy drinker. He still, in some preverse way, is possessive over Beth and wants her to desire him again. Hence, he bullies everybody in town and ensures that any good candidates for her are shot down! So, she’s single forever and has no idea that her ex is the mastermind behind it. In addition, Keith treats Ben like garbage and expects him to be a different kind of boy than that of who he actually is. He wants him to be some jock, over-testosterone’d boy… while Ben likes activity but also plays chess and the violin. Keith practically treats Ben like a cleaning person when he comes once a month to visit.
Our “hero” of the story is Logan Thibault (“Thigh-Bolt”). Logan… what a name! Anyway, he served in the desert wars and was deployed 3 times. Each time, he manages to escape death and return home. As not to “spoil” the book, I won’t go into much about his history or why he ends up in Hampton… but, eventually he does. There, he meets Elizabeth.
As you can imagine, all sorts of calamities ensue as a result of his interaction with Beth, as far as Keith-the-Jerk-O-Haulic is concerned. It’s nice to watch the development of that relationship.
The ending is saved for the die-hard Sparks Fans… who haven’t gotten around to it yet!
Other Reviews & Author Interviews:
Did You Know (From His Website):
He is a black-belt in Tae Kwon Do?
He still holds a track and field record at the University of Notre Dame?
After selling The Notebook, the first thing he bought was a new wedding ring for his wife?
Nicholas Sparks and J.K. Rowling (of Harry Potter fame) are the only contemporary authors to have a novel spend more than a year on both the New York Times hardcover and paperback best-seller lists?
In a poll of Entertainment Weekly readers, he was selected as the favorite author?
He was selected by People Magazine as the “Sexiest Author?”
He is a major contributor to the Creative Writing Programat the University of Notre Dame?
On Sher’s “One To Ten Scale:”
For the sheer “fun” of this book and it’s ability to bring me back to ME, I give this book an 8! It isn’t as wonderful as A Walk to Remember or The Notebook, and maybe not even as good as True Believer and At First Sight. But, it’s good, old fashioned Sparks. And, it makes my tummy all warm inside!
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