2015 Book #56 – Lightning by Dean Koontz

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Title: Lightning
Author: Dean Koontz
Date finished: 6/12/15
Genre: Fiction – Thriller
Publisher: G Putnam Sons
Publication Date: 1988
Pages in book: 355
Stand alone or series: Stand alone

Blurb from the cover:

In the midst of a raging blizzard, lightning struck on the night Laura Shane was born. And a mysterious blond-haired stranger showed up just in time to save her from dying.
Years later, in the wake of another storm, Laura will be saved again. For someone is watching over her. But just as lightning illuminates, darkness always follows close behind.

My rating: 2.75 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: This book will be counting towards my goal for the Roof Beam Reader TBR Pile Reading Challenge, #3 on the list I set for myself at the beginning of this year. One of my friends (technically my best friend’s mom and my mom’s best friend) wanted me to read this book to try something new and to see if I would like something a little darker/scarier. She originally wanted me to read something by Stephen King (if I remember correctly) but gave me this book instead since it is one of her favorites and not quite as scary as Stephen King. Being delinquent in my duties as reviewer, I have had the book for probably close to a year and so earlier this year I thought it would be a good encouragement to put it on my TBR reading challenge listing.
So this story is about a lady named Laura and I’m going to spoil it for you, time travel. Laura has a “guardian” who pops in and out of her life at important moments, saving her from dying over and over again from the moment she’s born right up until the end of the book pretty much. Laura goes through life not knowing that she’s really living in an altered timeline since Stefan (the guardian) keeps jumping across the time stream to fix things for her. Living in ignorance, Laura grows up and forms relationships and sustains significant losses in her life, all the while surviving as best she can. Eventually though, she comes face to face with Stefan and he asks her to help him save the world.
Overall this was not my favorite book. The book itself was good enough but it is not my usual style/genre of book and I had some trouble getting into it. There was a lot of complicated discussion on time travel and I (like Laura) got a massive headache trying to keep track of the paradoxes of people traveling through time. Also the main character lived through such heavy losses through her life, it was depressing. And poor Chris going through this experience as an 8 year old. I don’t think I found it too scary necessarily, but it was darker than I usually like and I had trouble connecting with Laura. I would probably try another book by Koontz in the future to see if it was just this plot I wasn’t a huge fan of. I want to thank my friend Sandy for recommending this book to me. I am trying hard to expand my horizons and try books that are outside of my comfort zone and this book definitely fit the bill! Thanks Sandy!

The bottom line: I don’t think I would encourage or discourage readers to try this book. It was a good book just not my style.

Link to author website
Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page

2015 Book #49 – The Tempting of Thomas Carrick by Stephanie Laurens

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Title: The Tempting of Thomas Carrick
Author: Stephanie Laurens
Date finished: 5/26/15
Genre: Historical romance
Publisher: Mira
Publication Date: February 24, 2015
Pages in book: 456
Stand alone or series: Cynster family series #21, 2nd in Cynster Next Generation series

Blurb from the cover:

Thomas Carrick is driven to control all aspects of his life. The wealthy owner of Carrick Enterprises, located in bustling Glasgow, he is one of that city’s most eligible bachelors and intends to select a wife from the many young ladies paraded before him. He wants to take that next step along his self-determined path, yet no one captures his eye, nor his attention…not the way Lucilla Cynster did.
Thomas has avoided his clan’s estate because it borders Lucilla’s home, but disturbing reports from his clansmen force him to return. His uncle, the laird, is ailing, a family is desperately ill, and the healer is unconscious and dying. Duty leaves Thomas no choice but to seek help from the last woman he wants to face.
Strong-willed and passionate, Lucilla has been waiting for Thomas to return and claim his place by her side. She knows he is her fated lover, husband, protector, and mate just as she is his one true love. Though his return wasn’t on her account, Lucilla is willing to seize whatever chance Fate hands her.
Thomas can never forget Lucilla, or the connection that seethes between them, but to marry her would mean embracing a life he does not want.
Lucilla sees that Thomas has yet to accept the inevitability of their union. But how can he ignore a bond such as theirs—one so much stronger than reason? Lucilla is as determined as only a Cynster can be to fight for the future she knows can be theirs. And while she cannot command him, she has powerful enticements she’s willing to wield in the tempting of Thomas Carrick.

My rating: 4.0 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: This book will be counting towards my goal for the Pop Sugar Reading Challenge 2015 checklist under the “a book published this year” check box since it was published in February of this year. I have been eagerly awaiting this novel as it is a continuation of one of my favorite series I started reading in the last couple years, the Cynster series. This book marks the first of the Cynster Next Generation series which will chronicle the stories of the children from the characters in the past 20 books of the series. The overall Cynster family tree can be found here, Lucilla is the oldest offspring of Richard & Catriona (from book #3 in the Cynster series).
Lucilla is destined to be the next Lady of the Vale, her childhood home. This is highly unusual for this time as the estate would usually pass to the oldest son. However, this estate in particular is governed by the Lady (a deity) and so the oldest daughter of the current Lady of the Vale is to inherit the lands. Lucilla has always known this to be her destiny and saw no reason to fight against what would ultimately fulfill her purpose in life. For the past 10 years she has known that Thomas would be her consort (we saw the preview for this in By Winter’s Light) but the Lady instructed Lucilla to be patient and so she has waited and waited for Thomas to re-enter her life in a more permanent way. Circumstances throw them together at last and they team up to try and solve a mystery of sorts.
The ending leaves some issues open for me. Whatever happened to Nigel? Where did he go? I’m not sure if these are meant to remain open or if they will be addressed in Marcus’s novel (released TODAY! And FYI Marcus is Lucilla’s twin). I am very much looking forward to reading his story as the heroine was also introduced to us in this novel.
Overall I liked this book a lot. I was intrigued throughout and honestly once I started it I couldn’t seem to put it down. The ending felt a tad anti-climactic but I’m hoping that there is some follow-up in the next book. And it was a bit too steamy for me but I muddled through that part because I really loved the plot and the story. Lucilla is such a strong character and I really just adored her. It did end up being a tad bit wordy, hard to avoid at over 450 pages, but it wasn’t so wordy that I lost interest in the story, just that a couple points i was like “Alright let’s get on with it already, they both think the other is hot I get it.” Overall though I was immensely pleased at this continuation in an already very long series.

The bottom line: I would recommend this book, it was intriguing throughout. I love the Cynster series and I am excited that it is continuing with the Next Generation.

Link to author website
Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page