Nov 22, 2010

Mass Market Monday:

Welcome to Mass Market Monday, 
a weekly meme where people share what mass market titles they've read in the previous week.

To participate:

1. Enter your blog into the list below with the main type of books you review.
Example: Blog Name (main type of books you review or "eclectic")
Wildly Read (eclectic children's & adult)

2. Post about this meme on your blog, sharing your Monday mass market review.

3. Visit other blogs on the list, finding great book recommendations, following new blogs, and sharing your own.

And now, for my Mass Market Monday review:

Stars, containing Hidden Star and Captive Star (books 1 & 2 in the Stars of Mithra trilogy)
by Nora Roberts
9780373285624, $7.99, Silhouette (Harlequin)

It's back to the basics this Monday - the tried-and-true - my go-to mass market (MM) author whenever I'm feeling blue - the NYTimes bestselling author, Nora Roberts!

I've been reading NR for over half my life and I'm constantly amazed by the way her writing stays current and new. Even in books such as Stars, a republishing/repackaging of two of her earlier novels, she has a way of gently infusing her writing with an edge, with elements of fringe culture, with unexpected personality traits, and uncommon interests, often years before those influences become more mainstream.

For instance, her female characters, even while meeting a man and falling in love, tend to be strong in their own right, independent, and demanding of equal respect from their male partners (not something all romantic fiction authors write about). In Hidden Star and Captive Star, the two books contained in Stars, though originally published in 1997, reading them now over 10 years later, there are so many character elements that could fit right into daily life now.

In Hidden Star, Bailey James is suffering from amnesia. She can't remember who she is or what she is running from. All she knows is that she woke up in a hotel room with a gun, a bag full of cash, and a large blue diamond. Going to the police isn't an option, so she goes to the next best thing - private investigator Cade Parris. Never one to turn away a damsel in distress, Cade takes the case, and ends up taking Bailey James home - all with the best intentions, of course. As they slowly uncover who she might be (gemologist), who she is running from (evil older step-brother who has already killed once and won't hesitate to do it again), and who else might be involved (her two best girl-friends who have gone MIA with the other two diamonds), they also uncover that they might be in love.

The trilogy continues in Captive Star when friend #2, M.J. O'Leary, gets arrested by bounty hunter Jack Dakota. Though an expert in martial arts, and holding her own in any fight, M.J. ends up handcuffed to Jack Dakota, running for her life when two men start trying to kill them in what was an obvious set-up by the evil men after the diamond. Forced to trust each other in war, if not in love, M.J. and Jack race around trying to lose their tail, but find Bailey and Grace (BFF #3), without losing their lives. In the process, they just may figure out how to make a life together.

Favorite parts? The sexy little tattoos all three women got together in college. M.J. leaning out of a car window to shoot at the men chasing them. Bailey getting all hot-and-bothered in the kitchen but not wanting to let Cade know. And of course, the steamy sex. Bailey's the lingerie-princess-type, while M.J. just happens not to be wearing any underwear on "getting arrested" day. My ultimate favorite part is how I can relate to both characters in different ways (though I gotta be honest, the shooting at people out the window is probably more my style).

Looking forward to reading Treasures, the next MM that contains Secret Star, the third and final book in the Stars of Mithra trilogy.

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