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Topic: Beg, Borrow or Steal this Book!

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Subject: Beg, Borrow or Steal this Book!
Date Posted: 8/8/2010 1:47 PM ET
Member Since: 1/11/2007
Posts: 1,646
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http://www.paperbackswap.com/Cool-Shade-Theresa-Weir/book/006108462X/

 

 

I'm a nearly 100% historical romance reader and was having a difficult time finding a contemporary author I liked -- until Theresa Weir, that is.   I read and loved her novel Amazon Lily.   I knew Cool Shade had gotten outstanding reviews and won a RITA award, but the summary didn't appeal to me and I almost passed on the book.  However, then I read All About Romance's Desert Isle Keeper review of Cool Shade, giving it an A rating coupled with a "hot" sensuality rating, and since the DIK reviews are nearly always spot on, I decided to give the book a try.

 

 

Maddy is fired from her night-time DJ job after intentionally violating the radio station's format by playing "a song with words".   She's flat broke and behind on her rent even before she's fired.  On the day she's fired she arrives home to find a letter from her estranged sister Enid's landlady in Nebraska, who indicates that Enid has been missing for a month.  With nothing to lose and nothing keeping her in Arizona, Maddy packs up her few worldly possessions and her cat and drives from Arizona to Nebraska, to see if she can discover what happened to Enid.  Several mechanical breakdowns later, she arrives in Nebraska and finds out her sister was working there as a small-town prostitute.  After reviewing Enid's appointment book, she discovers that one of her clients was a local recluse named Eddie Berlin.   Maddy decides to head out to Eddie's farmhouse to see what she can find out, but is frustrated when Eddie throws her off the property when she mentions Enid's name.  Eddie is a very strange character, a recluse and former manager of singer Rick Beck, who was killed onstage approx. 4 years ago.  Eddie has a mysterious relationship to Rick Beck and some people actually think Eddie may have had some involvement in Rick's death.   Suspicious of Eddie's possible involvement with Enid's disappearance, Maddy goes to the police, who say Eddie is "harmless" and refuse to investigate him due to lack of evidence.   Maddy then takes matters into her own hands by breaking into Eddie?s farmhouse while he's not home.   That's when the fireworks start.   You can imagine all the possible scenarios and I don't want to give much more away at this point, since I don't want to create spoilers.  

 

 

Suffice it to say, that this was one of the best romances I've EVER read. To say I was impressed is vastly understating the case.  I'd give the book an A++ rating.  This is the caliber of book Laura Kinsale or Judith Ivory would be writing if they wrote contemporaries.   Combine quirky, deeply flawed, but very appealing, very human characters, with excellent character development, a fast-moving plot and a fascinating mystery you will NEVER  solve on your own, and there you have it.  Weir reveals her characters a little at a time and so the mystery unfolds gradually. There are humorous moments and the characters are very real and flawed.     The ending is so poignant  that I probably used up a box of Kleenex on it.   The love scenes are unusual and very, very hot, leaving just enough to the imagination.   The mystery is so good, I?m convinced Weir could be a straight mystery writer in her own rite. 

 

Beg, borrow or steal this book, but whatever you do read it!  It?s a keeper for me so nobody's getting my copy.  At this writing, my hubby is about 1/3 of a way through the book and he loves it too, but he?s a much slower reader than I am.  

 

**EDITED TO CORRECT FORMATTING ERRORS**

 

 



Last Edited on: 8/8/10 1:59 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 8/8/2010 1:54 PM ET
Member Since: 6/21/2008
Posts: 6,540
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Thanks for the review!  I appreciate it so much when people point to the little known gems out there. 

Date Posted: 8/8/2010 2:02 PM ET
Member Since: 1/11/2007
Posts: 1,646
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You're welcome.  That's the reason I did it.  I read an interview with Theresa Weir on AAR that said she initially got tons of rejection letters on her books and was insulted by publishers who said her characters were too strange and flawed and nobody would like them.   Funny thing, that's exactly what makes the book so great.  Just shows you what publishers know.  

Date Posted: 8/8/2010 2:47 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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"...insulted by publishers who said her characters were too strange..."   I love non-traditional characters!!!   Thanks for the review Claudia.

Date Posted: 8/8/2010 3:34 PM ET
Member Since: 8/30/2008
Posts: 2,207
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Too cool, especially since I recommended this book on a Weir thread a few weeks back. She is such a hidden jewel. I'm so glad you enjoyed the book.

Gail

Date Posted: 8/8/2010 3:35 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
Posts: 14,634
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well dang I'm now glomming Weir! well requested anyways so who knows if I'll get them! didn't you recommend that lily one where she's hangning off the cliff? seems like it was ina 'make fun of the cover' thread we have too! I just got that one in themail a week or so ago but haven't gotten to it yet!

Date Posted: 8/8/2010 3:37 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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Well not to be a bummer but I read that recently and didn't really care for it at all.  Not as a romance anyway.  I found nothing really appealing in any of the characters.  They didn't make me want to root for them to find happiness at all.

Date Posted: 8/8/2010 5:00 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,425
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Sorry folks, TW is on my keeper shelf. 

I think she is now writing mysteries under another name.

ETA   Anne Frasier



Last Edited on: 8/8/10 5:02 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/9/2010 9:54 AM ET
Member Since: 1/11/2007
Posts: 1,646
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You are quite right.  I said in my review that I thought she was good enough at mysteries to write straight mysteries that sell. 

 

Turns out that Theresa Weir is the pen name of Anne Frasier, who has a whole series of thriller novels.   I may have to check out those too.  Too bad she seems to have stopped writing romance. 

I know they''re not everyone's cup of tea, but I love the non-traditional, deeply flawed characters.  I think  reading books about "perfect people"

is mind-numbingly boring.  Unfortunately, that's what a lot of romance writers think we romance readers like =(

Date Posted: 8/9/2010 10:35 AM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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They tend to think we like a lot of things that set our teeth on edge, but I guess all of them, if they're at all successful, have found a fan base somewhere.  Even Cassie Edwards has fans -- who I deeply apologize to for having offended just now:P  I am going to try TW out, and that's a big thing, Claudia, because you know I don't read contemporaries.  We'll settle on an appropriate punishment for you later if it doesn't work out:P  As much as we have on common in our reading tastes though, I couldn't really pass her by just because she doesn't write my in favorite period.

Date Posted: 8/9/2010 11:14 AM ET
Member Since: 1/11/2007
Posts: 1,646
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Kim,

I honestly think you're gonna love Theresa Weir/Anne Frasier, or I wouldn't have recommended her.  Remember that I, too, am a diehard historical romance devotee who normally despises contemporary.   TW is truly an exception.   She's become a mainstream mystery/thriller writer now and hasn't written a new romance in a while, unfortunately.  

Just landed a 6th month temp assignment today.  It starts next Monday.  Yay!

 

If you hate TW, you may select the novel of your choice (no matter how bad).  I will read it and write a reveiw.



Last Edited on: 8/9/10 11:15 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/9/2010 1:56 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2009
Posts: 2,920
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I read this book a million years ago and from what I remember it was a pretty good book. I have look in my books and see if I still have this one.

Date Posted: 8/9/2010 2:57 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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If you hate TW, you may select the novel of your choice (no matter how bad).  I will read it and write a reveiw.

Lol.  Deal.

Date Posted: 8/9/2010 3:53 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2006
Posts: 6,436
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I suppose it would be mean to hope Kim hates it, just to see what book she chooses? ;-)

Congrats on your temp job, Claudia!



Last Edited on: 8/9/10 3:53 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/10/2010 8:57 AM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2009
Posts: 2,920
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I got rid of Cool Shade, but kept her Bad Karma which I thought was pretty funny.

Date Posted: 8/10/2010 12:12 PM ET
Member Since: 1/11/2007
Posts: 1,646
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With apologies to her fans, the worst novel I can imagine being forced to read would be anything by Bertrice Small.  I read Adora.  The heroine is repeatedly raped by the men in her life.   They call this romance?  At best its historical fiction with a some disturbing sex scenes and a heroine who is repeatedly abused. 



Last Edited on: 8/10/10 1:24 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/11/2010 9:17 PM ET
Member Since: 1/23/2009
Posts: 468
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Okay Claudia - I just ordered it! I'm excited:-)

Date Posted: 8/20/2010 6:03 AM ET
Member Since: 1/23/2009
Posts: 468
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Finished it last night and it was really good. I will be ordering more of her books. Thanks Claudia.

Date Posted: 8/20/2010 9:25 AM ET
Member Since: 6/18/2005
Posts: 30
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"I know they''re not everyone's cup of tea, but I love the non-traditional, deeply flawed characters. I think reading books about "perfect people" is mind-numbingly boring. Unfortunately, that's what a lot of romance writers think we romance readers like =("

Thanks for the recommendation.  I'll add her to my "check out" list the next time I'm in a bookstore/library.  If she's highly skilled, it will be good but I don't think I'll order right away.

My experence is that I have very hard time being sympathic to flawed characters if the problems are too deep.  Wading through 300-400 pages of someone(s) shooting themselves in the foot repeatedly is just as dull (and aggrevating) as reading about Millionare Ken man falling in love with Cinderella Barbie woman.

Date Posted: 8/25/2010 12:40 AM ET
Member Since: 7/26/2007
Posts: 662
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Thanks for the suggestion!  

Question, did the sister ever sleep with the hero in the past?   This is whats stopping me from ordering the book at the moment, I find a theme like this kinda icky...

Date Posted: 8/25/2010 5:51 PM ET
Member Since: 1/23/2009
Posts: 468
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Tina - you have to read it to find out!

Date Posted: 8/25/2010 9:40 PM ET
Member Since: 7/26/2007
Posts: 662
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I actually  ordered another book by this author after seeing this thread,  One Fine Day , unfortunately this book is also on a WL right now.    Aside from the cheating  themes,  sibling sharing the H is the biggest wall banger for me.  This is why I asked, knowing myself I would probably put off reading it until God knows  when..... 

Thanks for letting us know about this author, Claudia.  All of the things I've been reading about her thus far have been positive.  :)