I read almost a hundred books in 2012 and one of my very favorites (definitely in the top five) was After Hello by Lisa Mangum. This book was nothing like I thought it was going to be. In fact, it's actually a little hard to describe but I'll try because I want all of you to read it so we can talk about it.
It all takes place in about twenty-four hours and yet the book feels unrushed. The romance is low-key and yet there are times when you're holding your breath in anticipation. It often feels like it's moving slowly and yet I couldn't put it down. How Lisa Mangum managed all that is remarkable. She's a fabulous writer and had me totally involved from the very beginning. She wrote interesting, understandable characters who became absolutely real to me.
Lisa Mangum left me completely torn. Part of me is hoping and crossing my fingers that she's going to write a sequel while the other part of me is afraid it couldn't measure up to how much I enjoyed this one. But Lisa is brilliant, so I'm willing to read more about Sam and Sara if she gives us more.
I'm not even sure where to start on The Unlikely Gift of Treasure Blume by Lisa Rumsey Harris, except to say that it is absolutely a gift. And such a surprising one.
Lisa Rumsey Harris blends romance, humor and human nature into a book that is a treat to read and I will definitely re-read this one. I had a smile on my face most of the time I read it and there were times I couldn't stop myself from laughing, but it was also heart-wrenching and poignant and touching and unselfish. I absolutely loved it.
Treasure and Dennis are people worth cheering for and the old women of the geriatric drill team were adorable without being too precious. This is a fun book that will leave you feeling uplifted and happy. I seriously can't wait for Lisa Rumsey Harris to write more.
Usually I'm a stickler for mistakes in books. An occasional typo stops me in my tracks and grammatical errors give me a shiver down my back. If you read this, you need to go into it knowing you're going to find a few typos and a few grammatical errors. Amy Harmon self-published this book and it would have been well-served by a good editor.
That said, I loved this book. The story of awkward, young musical prodigy Josie and the Navajo boy, Samuel spans a decade and is a beautiful story. The characters are rich and well-developed. Their relationship is unlikely but natural and satisfying. The language of the book is lovely and Amy Harmon has a nice way with words. There were a couple of times when I got bogged down with the lengthy explanations of some of the Navajo stories and traditions but I enjoyed the book so much that I'd consider that minor.
If you want a deep, serious, breath-catching romance with a dark, gentle, brooding hero and plenty of angst, this is for you.