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Rena Reads

A place to express how the books I've read have influenced, disturbed or enhanced my life. Literature with a little lesbian love sprinkled here and there. Pronounced /ree-nay/

Currently reading

Abandoned Property
Designed by Pat Rasch, Shonell Bacon (Editor), Kai Mann
Turn Up the Heat - Randi Alexander I really enjoyed the relationship between country restaurant owner Mackenzie Jarvis and reality show host Gina Voto. As different as they appeared to be, their romance was searing. As short as the story was, it touched on a lot in terms of plot, making it more than just a wham-bam sexual tale.

My Woman His Wife 3

My Woman His Wife 3 - Anna J. More like 3.5

Rumors Ring True (Maxi's Place, #1)

Rumors Ring True (Maxi's Place, #1) - Literary Stud Basic stud-charms-femme-at-work story with a what-happens-next ending. Enjoyable.
Fingerprints of You - Terry Ribera, Kristen-Paige Madonia One of the best books I've read all year.

Review coming soon.
Jane Bites Back - Michael Thomas Ford One part funny, two parts insightful, three parts implausible madness, and four parts snark.

Jane Bites Back wasn't as good as I'd hoped, but I'm tempted just enough to read the second in the series.

Freshman Freaks

Freshman Freaks - Gavin M.L. Fletcher Okay, but ended too abruptly.
The Espressologist - Kristina Springer This was a cute read about a 17-year old barista who can match customers by their favorite drinks. She was quirky and funny (my favorite kind of character), but adorably clueless when it comes to her own love life. Not to mention the Starbucks-esque drinks made me crave a frappuccino.
Starting From Here - Lisa Jenn Bigelow When I picked up Starting From Here from my post office box, I had no idea it would be so good.

The story surrounds Colby Alicia Bingham, a could-be-better student and bagger at her local grocery store. She's what some would call a lone wolf, especially since her mother passed a year and a half ago and her father truck drives across the country every other week. She thinks she's found happiness with Rachel, her almost girlfriend, but then she dumps her, saying she's not serious enough. Colby's devastated and wallows in her hurt, cutting everyone off except her best friend Van.

Then one day she and Van are simply hunting for aluminum cans by the side of the road, and out darts a stray dog. A white bodied, black eared bull mix that Colby adopts, as she's worried about its safety.

Mo's arrival is right on time, considering Rachel is now in the arms of a dude for crying out loud. Without her dad around, Colby gets unconditional love from the dog she christens Mo, who also brings a new friend in veterinarian Robyn, who patched Mo up when he was at his worst.

Everything is peachy where Mo is concerned. Everywhere else is a mess. Her grades are about to send her to summer school. Seems as if she can't get away from Rachel and her new boyfriend. Van is insistent on playing matchmaker (without Colby's consent). And the one girl she has her eye on could be potentially heartbreaking.

She can't go through that again. Her heart already feels like a pin cushion. One more push might just cause it fall apart.

Starting From Here is a great debut novel from Lisa Jenn Bigelow. Colby is a genuine character who makes mistakes and eventually learns from them and makes amends in the best way she knows how. What else can you ask for?
Brothers and Wives: A Novel - cydney Rax Brothers and Wives is the continuing story from My Husband's Girlfriend, though it can be read as a stand-alone novel. Homewrecker Dani has now fallen for her former married lover's brother, Scottie. Lest you think Scottie is masochist, he too has his own drama in the form of a stalkerish kissing cousin.

I've had Brothers and Wives for a minute. While this was occasionally humorous and makes you think hard about marriage, it was just too much at times. Don't get me wrong; I like a provocative story. Yet despite all the drama found within its pages, Rax doesn't make me care about the characters, and the ending was anti-climatic for all the hell these folks raised.
The Weird Sisters - Eleanor Brown More like 3.5 stars
TORN - Gavin M.L. Fletcher I gave this a 2.5. It was okay, but I wasn't fond of the way it ended, as a couple of loose ends weren't tied up. A quick erotic read. I might read more from him, though.
Tumbleweeds: A Novel -  Leila Meacham A soapy drama, Tumbleweeds was my guilty pleasure read this summer. The story definitely held my attention, considering it was almost 500 pages, and kept me guessing until the very end. Yet in reading Tumbleweeds, you have indulge your imagination and just go with it, considering some of the character's actions seemed a bit farfetched.

All that said, it's a good story, but the last 100 pages are what really make the book.

*Worth 3.5 stars*
Smart Girls Get What They Want - Sarah Strohmeyer Whatever you do, don't call Smart Girls Get What They Want a cute book. It is partly that, but so much more. It's also an insult to the heroines of Sarah Strohmeyer's novel. Gigi, Neerja, and Bea are the smart girls who finally realize that high school is more than good grades and getting into the right college. So they set out to make names for themselves and conquer their fears and goals.

SGGWTW is great book for girls, written with heart and humor, and tells girls that they can accomplish anything they set their minds to. Just don't get distracted by boys. Not totally.
The Difference Between You and Me - Madeleine George The Difference Between You and Me reminded me of Rita Mae Brown's In Her Day. In that book, the female lovers Isle and Carole argued about feminism instead of getting it on. In my 2-star review on Amazon.com I said:

"Together the two argue women's ideologies. That's about it. Add a cast of quirky-but-lackluster characters and you've got a novel doesn't amount to much. There was just too much opinion and not enough emotion...I labored through it far longer than I should."

That almost sums up what I feel about The Difference Between Me and You. Though the issue the Jesse and Emily fight about is dissimilar - about a Wal-Mart-esque store coming to their small town - the emotions were just as flat at times. Grassroots Jesse cares too much for the self-centered, polished Emily (whom I hate as a character), who won't even acknowledge that she exists. Ever. The way Jesse is treated by Emily makes me want to slap the taste out of Emily's mouth. She really boiled my blood.

I digress. Between the poor treatment of Jesse (btw, I think it would have been better to have her chapters in first-person, instead of third) and Emily's bitchiness, it was just okay.

2.5 stars
Flowers in the Attic - V.C. Andrews I was enthralled when I read this series the summer before my 8th grade year. Trashy but entertaing read.

Jazzy Ladies Productions: Nothing is as Sweet as it Looks

Jazzy Ladies Productions: Nothing is as Sweet as it Looks - Ericka K.F. Simpson Really like 4.5! Excellent book!