Ugh. I was also in a mood because while usually us parents read while our kids are in riding lessons (it's really quite amusing to see three parents sitting with noses in a book), last night this friend of one of the other girls came and she spent the whole lesson talking this mother REALLY loudly and about stuff that was way TMI. 60 min. of non-stop commentary about everything from seeing her father's penis when she was two to the love-life of her friend. I was seriously considering going to sit in my car and burn gas to stay warm. Muttering "shut up shut up shut up" under my breath didn't seem to be helping. So my week has sucked basically. LOL It has to get better right?
The Red Thread of Forever Love by Nicole Kimberling (96 pages)
Hank is a Canadian in Japan working on a book on Japanese folklore. Unfortunately he's picked up a rather amorous demon he calls Fingers. Fingers is constantly trying to molest him and he's not sure if he should tell his translator Tachibana or not, or if he'll think he's weird. Meanwhile you find out that Tachibana's attraction to men causes Fingers to manifest. Over the Christmas holiday they head out of the city to research some stories and things escalate until Tachibana can no longer keep his secret and to save Hank's life he has to reveal that he's the source of the yokai. This was a very very funny book and of course there are lots of references to Canada and Canadian culture so I loved it. Fingers was funny and reminded me of a youngster who just wanted someone to love them, although when push came to shove he could be brave. Tachibana was also a great character, his thought process was interesting. The whole Japanese thing of being something on the surface and something else underneath really came through. I loved how you got to know both of them even though it only took place over a few days. I highly recommend this when you are looking for something light and something set in somewhere NOT North America. The little Japanese touches were nice to read. I think my favourite line was when Fingers is trying to convince Hank he can be with him forever.
“Caldwell-sensei, will you marry me? I will come to Canada and join the RCMP. Together we will fight crime and drink Crown Royal whiskey and eat maple syrup on our pancakes every day.”I nearly died laughing because I swear that's what Japanese think of Canada. Although maybe they throw in Anne of Green Gables too. :-) After I calmed down from my hissy at the riding school, I stayed up too late reading this. I tried to read it there, but it wasn't fair to the book or me to attempt it with the non-stop monologue beside me.
Of One Mind by Elizabeth Brooks (108 pages)
I picked this up because it's the prequel of sorts to Of Sound Mind which was part of the Charity Sip blitz. In the future, once you hit majority, you go to the priests and register to find your mate. Once you are found and connect you are bonded for life and if one dies, the other dies. However Jereth doesn't like the idea and is trying to find his mate the old fashioned way. He's sure she's out there. However he's now 35 and finally decided to try the priests. Meanwhile Caris lives with his abusive brother in the poorest scariest part of town. With the help of his lover he's managed to save enough money to register and prays that his mate will save him. When Jereth finds Caris is his mate, he's sure it's a mistake, he doesn't want a man. Caris is crushed and badly beaten by his brother. Jereth goes to apologise and finds Caris badly injured and rescues him. However he refuses to just mate, he wants to "fall in love" the old fashioned way. Caris is not happy with his but agrees to play along. I loved Caris and I have a soft spot for the abused poor waif however I wanted to slap Jereth more than once. He had his reasons and fears for not mating, but he was also just stubborn. He was so frustrating but it all works out of course. :-) The world was interesting, more or less like ours but with this mate system which sometimes seems like it would be a lovely idea, except for the dying part. I really enjoyed it.
I'll Run Away for the Holidays by Stephani Hecht (83 pages)
Scott agrees to drive from Florida to Michigan to spend Christmas with his friend Madison's family. He's not thrilled when he realizes her younger brother Anson is riding with them. Anson came on to him 3 years ago when he was only 18 and Scott 23 and he rejected him. He sees Anson as his friend's bratty brother. However Anson has grown up and seems to delight in goading Scott. Finally to prove he's not the stick in the mud Anson claims, they end up in Anson's hotel room and Scott realizes that Anson's not a kid anymore but a man he kind of likes. When they get home they are faced with alcoholic Aunt Nora making inappropriate comments, Anson's mother who's still pissed that Scott ran over their turtle three years ago, tension between Anson and his Dad and a grandfather who's moved in. There's lots of Christmas drama and when Scott is afraid to open up to Anson he feels rejected and takes off but gets some great advice from Gramps. I know I complained about the "too perfect" family before and this one is more to my liking. They aren't completely dysfunctional, there is love and acceptance, but it's not a Folger's commercial either. Maybe it's a bit over the top, but I found this kind of family more real and appealing than one which I could never live up to. I liked how Scott was forced to adjust his thinking about Anson and get past that image he had in his head from three years ago. It was a cute read, with some touches of humour and some sweet touching parts too. A really nice read which although it's set at Christmas it was fine to read after the fact.