Book Review: Major Moves

Genre: Contemporary

Word Count: 6,660

Average Goodreads Rating: 3/5 stars

My rating: 1/5 stars

Jolene Franks and Sam Caldwell have been ready to tie the knot for a year. But thanks to both of them being deployed, the wedding was postponed. Until now. Finally they can take a break from the military long enough for a honeymoon, but they’ll never take a break from being patriots serving their country.

This book could have been so good. There’s a kickass military heroine, a long-awaited reunion and even some (almost) steamy sex scenes as well as a honeymoon in Hawaii. Oh yes, this book had potential, and that is probably why I’m so angry at it at the moment.

I don’t even know where to begin with this crazy storm of horrificness. There’s the rushed love story, the barrage of characters at the end (because this is just an introductory novel for the “real” books of the series, featuring the other characters) and the patriotic moral being shoved down my throat.

There’s no reason for this story be less than at least 15,000 words. The whole thing was so rushed, I couldn’t even care about Jolene and Sam when they got married. Then the honeymoon in Hawaii was glossed over. And believe me, you don’t gloss over a honeymoon in Hawaii. Ever. I don’t care how uneventful it is, you don’t go from one flight to the next without at least mentioning a romp in the sheets, or a luau, or something in between.

The sex scenes in this story could have been good, but for some reason they just weren’t, not even when the two of them joined the mile high club. Maybe because the writing style wasn’t my favorite, or I just wasn’t that attached to the characters, but they just weren’t. I didn’t get an ounce of pleasure from these scenes and they took up about half the story.

The other half appeared to be patriotic propaganda. There was so much of it. At least four patriotic songs were played and everywhere I look, there’s some mention about how there’s nothing as patriotic as serving your country, and how they’re so proud to be patriots, and it’s sexy when you jump down the throat of someone who says the United States isn’t perfect. It’s like the author used a military recruitment poster as a writing prompt and published it as is.

Don’t get me wrong. I have complete respect for the troops. And the United States is not even close to being the worst country in the world to live in. But it’s not Narnia, either. There’s plenty wrong with the United States, including the high number of homeless vets. So having all these “patriotic” characters pisses me off.

I understand that this is going to be a series about a family who loves the military, but that doesn’t mean the story needs to get preachy. There could have been much more character development to balance the patriotism out and then it wouldn’t have been an issue for me. But as it is right now, the main characters have about as much depth as an Uncle Sam poster and I can feel the moral of the story being beaten over my head with about as much force as a two-by-four and it’s not a good feeling.

Morals are totally fine in stories. In small doses. If it’s obvious enough that it affects the story, then there’s a problem. The patriotic moral here is more blatant than the morals in the beginner chapter books I used to read for a kid. The moral should be much more subtle for an audience old enough to know what a blow job is.

Romance Novels to Read – 5 Historical Chick Flick Books

A History of Romance Novels

Romance novels are among the most popular forms of literature today. Most of the time, modern love stories are written with female sensibilities in mind, specifically from a woman’s point of view. The industry of romantic books is largely a female-driven medium, focusing on the various areas in life women deem important.

Can you believe that short love story book you just finished reading has a long and celebrated history? The romance books that fill your shelves have been around for centuries.

Where Did It All Began?

Marking its birth during the English Renaissance, women’s fiction was authored by a masculine pen and guided by the male point of view on the subject matter that is purely feminine. As a result, patriarchal ideas have been reinforced by way of literature and promoted the female sphere during the period that saw the rise of women’s literacy. However, the appearance of the Spanish novel The Mirror of Knighthood’s translation done by Margaret Tyler and Urania by Mary Wroth have become notable exceptions to this theory.

The commercial success of Renaissance romances can be attributed to the emergence of a larger number of female readers. Most of the Jacobean and Elizabethan romance authors credited their fame and commercial success to the gentlewomen readers or those who belong to the middle ranks in society, reassuring their faithful fans of their wholehearted dedication.

A Short List of the Best Romance Novels of All Time

The genre of romance books has surely seen a rich history. However, passion, devotion, relationships, and love are said to be easily experienced but a bit challenging to express in written words. Through the years, however, there are good romance books that have managed to capture the hearts of readers from all walks of life, earning the title of being the best romance novels of all time.

Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice

This romance novel has sold more than 120 million copies, with numerous imitations and adaptations, proving that this has stood even the harshest test of time.

Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights

Largely ignored and initially criticized for its unsuitable depiction of blind love, this is a true romance classic that is considered as one of the best-known love stories that English literature has ever produced.

Emily Brontë’s Jane Eyre

Widely renowned for tackling issues of sexuality, feminism, religion and class in first person narrative, it is a popular romance book that bears a rebellious streak disrupting the status quo of the 19th century.

Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina

Hailed by Times Magazine as the greatest romance novel that was ever written, Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina is a real masterpiece.

Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind

Taking the second spot amongst the best romance novels in America, the romantic classic explores the life of Scarlett O’Hara. It is also the very story that earned the author her Pulitzer Price in the year 1937.

It would be impossible to list everyone’s favorite romance book of all time, but the above list is a good place to start developing your taste for romantic literature.

Book Review: I’ll Be Looking at the Moon: A Novel About Finding Home by Lucia Barrett

A fitting book for spring, since it is about rebirth and life, “I’ll Be Looking at the Moon” by Lucia Barrett will fill your lungs with the fresh smell of wild flowers. While it can easily be cataloged as romance, the novel has deeper layers to it, which surpass the stereotypical love connection between a man and a woman. It is also a story about family and above all about the Self.

The story kicks off with a strong start. The reader is practically thrown into the inner world of the lead protagonist being exposed to her most personal thoughts. Once we share a glimpse of Elizabeth Parker Morgan’s present, we are torn away from it and sent back to the past, on a journey to discover (alongside her) why and how this present came to be. With a Freudian approach, the focus falls on her childhood and how the relationship with her parents and brother, but especially her mother, helped shape her as a person, and more particularly her capacity to give and receive love. As she matures into a successful businesswoman, she experiences France with all the romantic perils that would make such a cultural experience whole. She meets a man torn from her dreams in which she finds the coveted reciprocity she longed for all her life. But the illusion of a fairy tale love story soon shatters and both parts are left only with shards that will not fit together anymore. It is up to Elisabeth to rebuild herself and integrate this story into her life experience.

While the main focus falls on the love Elisabeth shared with Antonio, there are several other romantic strings that run through the pages of the book. Lucia Barrett takes on an inter-generational love story presenting very different type of relationships. First, there is the accomplished couple represented by Elisabeth’s grandparents, who are best friends for life and still care deeply about each other at their old age. The second pair, Elisabeth’s parents fell in love with each other easily, but they grew apart over the years. Their shared experiences uncovered mainly their differences and widened the gap between them. Finally, the love story of the heroine remains for you to discover in which category should fall, but hold your judgment until the last pages of the book.