Updates!

Welcome to The Romantic Scholar, a book review blog. Thanks for stopping by and I hope that you enjoy your stay.

After an eight month long hiatus, I am back. And I could not be more excited about it.



***My comments are located at the top of my posts***

Monday, June 22, 2009

Slow week. A little short on chas and time :( I did however manage to get one book, and that would be........


Need
by Carrie Jones


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Summary:
Zara collects phobias the way other high school girls collect lipsticks. Little wonder, since life’s been pretty rough so far. Her father left, her stepfather just died, and her mother’s pretty much checked out. Now Zara’s living with her grandmother in sleepy, cold Maine so that she stays “safe.” Zara doesn’t think she’s in danger; she thinks her mother can’t deal.

Wrong. Turns out that guy she sees everywhere, the one leaving trails of gold glitter, isn’t a figment of her imagination. He’s a pixie—and not the cute, lovable kind with wings. He’s the kind who has dreadful, uncontrollable needs. And he’s trailing Zara.

My Thoughts:
I have been waiting to get this book, and I am so excited that I finally got it!!! I just love the sound of the plot and I've heard great things about it. Can't wait to read it and have the review up for you!!!


In My Mailbox is brought to us by The Story Siren

Tuesday, June 16, 2009



My Overall Rating:
4/5

Age Recommendation:
I would say that this book is appropriate for ages 13 and up. Again, some mild sexual references, but nothing too extreme.

Cover Art:
The cover art of this book is so significant to the story and I love the way it's tied in without giving too much away. It symbolizes the connection between the two most main characters and how the were brought together.

Summary:
In his 14th book, bestselling author Nicholas Sparks tells the unforgettable story of a man whose brushes with death lead him to the love of his life.

After U.S. Marine Logan Thibault finds a photograph of a smiling young woman buried in the dirt during his tour of duty in Iraq, he experiences a sudden streak of luck -- winning poker games and even surviving deadly combat. Only his best friend, Victor, seems to have an explanation for his good fortune: the photograph -- his lucky charm.

Back home in Colorado, Thibault can't seem to get the woman in the photograph out of his mind and he sets out on a journey across the country to find her. But Thibault is caught off guard by the strong attraction he feels for the woman he encounters in North Carolina - Elizabeth, a divorced mother -- and he keeps the story of the photo, and his luck, a secret. As he and Elizabeth embark upon a passionate love affair, his secret soon threatens to tear them apart -- destroying not only their love, but also their lives.

Filled with tender romance and terrific suspense,
The Lucky One is an unforgettable story about the surprising paths our lives often take and the power of fate to guide us to true and everlasting love.

My Review:
Secrets are a definite "no-no" in a relationship. There are too many problems they can create and without full trust on both parts, the relationship may be doomed to failure.

This was most definitely not my favorite of the Nicholas Sparks books. It started out very slow and character as well as plot development didn't really begin until the middle of the book. For a lot of the time I was reading it, I just wanted to stop. But, once it got into the main body of the plot, it was actually a decent read. I just think that it needs a fair warning that it may take a while to get to the heart of the book.

This book did have a rather cute storyline though. The fact that the entire relationship was based off of a picture completely falls under the catagory of hopelessly romantic. Although a little far fetched that one would actually find the person in the picture, it is still extremely sweet.

This story is another one involving a single mother of one son. Much like The Rescue. While not as heartfelt as The Rescue was, this story is still very touching and sweet. The connection made between the two lovers with the child in the middle is what single mothers are looking for. Someone to share that parental bond with, and someone for their child(ren) to look up to as a father figure.

I would recommend this book only with the warning of it's slow beginning (there is too much unnecessary information in the beginning that takes up too much time, dragging the story on and on, eliminating anticipation for what may happen next) and it is re-readable, but only because of how wholesome the story itself is.

Sunday, June 14, 2009



My Overall Rating:
5/5

Age Recommendation:
I would recommend age 15 and up for this one. There are again, mild sex references as in all of Sparks' books, but there is also the subject matter of 9/11 that may be a bit much for a younger reader.

Cover Art:
I love the cover. The horse pasture is just so calming and has so many meanings: distance, hope, tranquility, and even fear. Many of the feelings captured by this book.

Summary:
When Savannah Lynn Curtis comes into his life, John Tyree knows he is ready to turn over a new leaf. An angry rebel, he had enlisted in the army after high school, not knowing what else to do. Then, during a furlough, he meets the girl of his dreams. Savannah Lynn Curtis is attending college in North Carolina, working for Habitat for Humanity, and totally unprepared for the passionate attraction she feels for John Tyree.

The attraction is mutual and quickly grows into the kind of love that leaves Savannah vowing to wait for John while he finishes his tour of duty, and John realizing that he's ready to settle down with the young woman who has captured his heart. Neither can foresee that 9/11 is about to change the world and will force John to risk every hope and dream that he's ever had. Like so many proud men and women, John must choose between love and country. And like all those left behind, Savannah must decide to wait or move on.

How do we choose wisely? How can we face loss-without giving up on love? Now, when he finally returns to North Carolina, John will discover that loving Savannah will force him to make the hardest decision of his life. An extraordinary, moving story, Dear John explores the complexities of love -- how it survives time and heartbreak, and how it transforms us forever.

My Review:
Loss is never easy. And neither is love. Everything in life comes with hardships, and in this novel, Nicholas Sparks portrays these hardships quite well. From difficulties in keeping a relationship alive over time and distance to dealing with horrific loss. There is something that all readers can relate to.

Sparks introduces these characters to us and we get to know them fairly quickly, just as they fall for one another. But the difficulties of long-distance relationship puts quite a strain on the newly-found love. How do you choose to wait for someone who can't be there when you need them, and may never return? Savannah is quite the believer. Not only in John, but in herself and the love that they share.

This inspiration story of love and hurt will touch the heart of any reader, showing just how much true love can do for a person. Everyone wants to find that special someone and when they do, they need to hold on and not let time or distance get in the way. This story in particular will always have a special place in my heart with it's link to U.S. history and everyday situations and is most definitely re-readable. I strongly recommend this book as it is so heartwarmingly sound and real.

Saturday, June 13, 2009


My Overall Rating:
4.5/5

Age Recommendation:
Again, I recommend that this novel be for a mature reader, around 13. There are mild references to sex.

Cover Art:
The cover art for this one is beautiful. I love the vibe that it gives off with the water, the greenery, and the swans. It makes for a very sweet and romantic atmosphere. As well as the sentimentality of the swans to our beloved Noah.

Summary:
Sparks's 1996 debut novel, The Notebook, was a fast and easy read that sold millions upon millions of copies. Other bestselling love stories followed (Message in a Bottle; A Walk to Remember; The Guardian), but Sparks's fans have from the very beginning eagerly anticipated a sequel to the romantic tale of Allie and Noah Calhoun. The wait is now over.

Attorney Wilson Lewis has been married to Noah and Allie's daughter, Jane, for 30 years. Wilson and Jane have raised three children and lived a satisfying and prosperous life in the bucolic town of New Bern, N.C. After forgetting his anniversary, Wilson realizes that the passion and romance have gone out of his marriage and fears his wife no longer loves him. Being a methodical man, he decides to embark on a yearlong program to renew his romantic ties to his wife, seeking out the advice of Noah, who now spends his days in a retirement home feeding a swan he is sure is the reincarnation of his beloved Allie.

In the midst of Wilson's machinations, his daughter Anna announces she is getting married. The upcoming wedding provides Wilson with the opportunity to bring his elaborate plan to fruition. Sparks tells his sweet story competently, without sinking too deeply into the mire of sentiment; a gasp-inducing twist comes at the very end. Satisfied female readers will close the covers with a sigh and a wish that a little of the earnest, too-good-to-be-true Wilson might rub off on their own bedmates.

My Review:
This story is just so sweet. While there is some confusion about Noah being alive after witnessing his death in the movie The Notebook, he is indeed still alive in the novels. We follow our main character Wilson as he tries to rekindle the flame in his suffering marriage as his daughters upcoming wedding arrives.

Relationships are never easy, especially repairing them. But with the propper dedication and faith, there may still be a chance. This is the attitude given by Noah when his son-in-law comes to him for help to save his marriage. Noah relates the story of how he used his personal notebook to keep the love between him and Allie alive with her fading memory.

With Noah's advice, Wilson devises a plan to save his marriage with Jane, and it has to do with his daughter's upcomming wedding! We are there as his plan unfolds, witnessing all of the struggles he faces as well as the outcome. Sparks could not have written a more perfect sequel to The Notebook. Again, his character and plot development is solid, leaving the reader with a perfect sense of the emotions present in the novel as well as getting to know the characters.

This love story is another great read that can be read over and over and I highly recommend it. Especially if you liked the story of The Notebook. Allie is still present in Noah's heart and the love he shares for her is still just as heartwarming as it was before.

Friday, June 12, 2009


My Overall Rating:
4/5

Age Recommendation:
I would recommend an age of 13 for this book. There are some sexual references but they are fairly mild.

Cover Art:
I think that the cover art for this is amazing. It is a wonderful representation of Allie's dream house with Noah.

Summary:
In a testimony to the lasting power of love, a man tells an elderly woman a story from a faded old notebook, his voice relating the heartbreaking tale of two lovers and their fifty-year journey to happiness

My Review:
The notebook is a bittersweet lovestory. Most already know the storyline, as this novel was made into a movie, but the book is so very different. There is so much raw emotion in the novel that was not captured in the film, and parts that were just left out (as what happens in so many movies).

Sparks did another outstanding job with his character and plot development. You feel like you're Allie by the end of the book, listening to your own life story. The dedication that Noah has for Allie while in Assisted Living is just so heartwarming, and it shows just how much he really did love her.

There are some very slow parts in this book. Some that make you almost want to put it down, yet there is just something about the tale that makes you want to continue reading. Perhaps it is because of how real the situation is to everyone. There is something that anyone can relate to in this novel. And Sparks did a great job of making those relations evident.

I can not say that I absolutely loved this book. But I do like it. A lot. There is just something about the bittersweet romance between the two lovers that tugs at your heartstrings. I do recommend this book and it is re-readable. Just be sure to have a tissue or two just in case.



My Overall Rating:
5/5

Age Recommendation:
This book is age appropriate for most readers. There are some sexual references but they are fairly mild. Any mature reader should be able to handle it.

Cover Art:
I love the nostalgia that the cover brings. It really ties in with the story, but it doesn't give anything away, which I like a lot.

Summary:
Nicholas Sparks brings back two characters from his beloved bestseller, True Believer, in this continuing saga of extraordinary love.

There are few things Jeremy Marsh was sure he'd never do: he'd never leave New York City; never give his heart away again after barely surviving one failed marriage; and most of all, never become a parent. Now, Jeremy is living in the tiny town of Boone Creek, North Carolina, married to Lexie Darnell, the love of his life, and anticipating the birth of their daughter. But, just as his life seems to be settling into a blissful pattern, an unsettling and mysterious message reopens old wounds and sets off a chain of events that will forever change the course of this young couple's marriage.

My Review:
Life always has it's hardships. And in this book, we follow Jeremy Marsh through quite a few. In the prequel, True Believer, we follow Jeremy to North Carolina in search of a story for his column in a science journal. There he meets Lexie. Throughout the story we experience the couple fall in love after Jeremy's previous mariage had fallen apart.

At First Sight began as the epilouge to it's prequel, but ran too long, so it became it's own book. The story starts out in present time and then tells the story from where True Believer left off. We follow Jeremy as he begins his transition from busy NYC to quiet Boone Creek to strat his life with Lexie and their unborn baby girl. Moving and starting over is never easy, but for Jeremy it has been extremely hard. He got Lexie pregnant out of wedlock and not everyone is ok with this event. And now, strange e-mails are appearing leaving him to question his relationship with Lexie and whether or not she has been honest with him. These events, along with some other smaller details, such as the locals in Boone Creek and Jeremy's family do not make this transition easy for anyone.

Again, Sparks did a wonderful job in his character development and plot development. This story flows seemlessly with it's sequel, but it can also be read alone. Which is exactly what I did. I read them backwards because I failed to realize that it was a sequel. But Sparks did such an amazing job that it didn't matter. I felt like I knew the characters personally even though I missed their initial introduction. I could not put this book down, and I love to re-read it. It's such a sweet story of true love that can make anyone fall under a trance. I will warn you however that you may need a box of tissues with you. There are some very emotional and heartwarming parts that just makes the tears come, even if you don't want them too. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves a good heartwarming story of two people crazily in love doing everything they can to be with one another.

Thursday, June 11, 2009


My Overall Rating:
4.8/5

Age Rating:
I would give this book an age suggestion of 14 and up. I think that someone with a mature mind could handle it. There are some sexual themes involved but they are mild.

Cover Art:
This is the original cover art for this book. I like it much better than the newer ones, even though those are nice, this one really connects with the story, and the history of one of the main characters.

Summary:
When confronted by raging fires or deadly accidents, volunteer fireman Taylor McAden feels compelled to take terrifying risks -- risks no-one else in the department would ever take -- to save lives. But there is one leap of faith Taylor cannot bring himself to make. He cannot fall in love. For all his adult years, Taylor has sought out women who need to be rescued, women he leaves as soon as their crisis is over, as soon as the relationship starts to become truly intimate. Then, one day, a raging, record-breaking storm hits his small Southern town. Denise Hilton, a young single mother, is driving through it when her car skids off the road. With her is her four-year-old son, Kyle, a boy with severe learning disabilities for whom she has sacrificed everything. Taylor finds her unconscious and bleeding, but when she wakes, the chilling truth is clear: Kyle is gone. During the search for Kyle, a connection between Taylor and Denise takes root.

My Review:
This story of finding love in unexpected places and coming to terms with one's past is a sweet tale of how two people came together. Learning to trust others and themselves with their emotions and lives, we witness the blossoming of a beautiful relationship between the two main characters, Taylor and Denise. And their relationship began during the search for Denise's missing son, Kyle.

The heartache of dealing with the loss of a loved one and coming to terms with the feeling of guilt, even thought it wasn't your fault can really take a toll on a person's ability to form an emotional attatchment to another being. This is the dilema that Taylor faces. But he comes to find that when faced with situations where you do everything to protect and save others, you forget about saving yourself, the one thing you need most in his position. But that is exactly what Denise does. She saves Taylor from the past that haunts him and helps to give him a new outlook on life. Denise wouldn't focus on dating and taking care of herself in personal ways because of the time and effort she spends taking care of her autistic child. This is where Taylor steps in. He shows Denise that she can do both. With the help of somone willing. Kyle is the link betweent the two that teaches them about love. Love for yourself and love for another.

This book is a definite must read, and is completely re-readable. The story is so compelling and the attatchment that Sparks creates between the reader and the characters is mind-boggling. Being able to feel what the characters feel and understand who they are is so important when it comes to novels, and Sparks did a spectacular job with this. This love story is so wholesome and real, teaching the value of love to anyone who reads it.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


My Overall Rating:
5/5

Age Recommendation:
This book is appropriate for ages 16 and up. There are some themes that are more suitable for a mature reader such as sex, animal cruelty, along with extreme stalking.

Cover Art:
I love the cover. I think it suits the book perfectly, depicting two of the main characters in one of the settings that is crucial to the story. The silhouette of the person and dog also coincides with the suspense aspect of the novel.

Summary:
Since her husband's tragic death fours years before, 29-year-old Julie Barenson had been reluctant to date, but now feels ready to test the waters. Soon, she is being wined and dined by Richard Franklin, a handsome and sophisticated engineer who treats her like a queen. She also suddenly finds herself entertaining romantic thoughts about Mike Harris, her best friend in the world. Mike is nowhere near as debonair as Richard and has permanent grease stains on his hands from his work as an auto mechanic, but he's funny, loyal, and a great favourite with Julie's beloved dog Singer. When Julie innocently chooses between the two men, she has no idea that she will set off a chain of events at once terrifying, dangerous and, ultimately, deadly. A riveting tale of love, jealousy and obsession, THE GUARDIAN has all the romance that Nicholas Sparks' fans have come to expect as well as a new element of suspense that will keep them turning the pages late into the night.

My Review:
This is by far my favorite book. It's the perfect thing to read when you're wanting a little suspense, or if you just want a really sweet love story of overcoming the fear of losing a perfect friendship. We follow Julie, who recently lost her husband due to illness, and her dog Singer, whom her husband left behind to protect her after he died.

Julie finally begins to date again after four years. Letting go of the person you love most is never easy, and finding something to help fill that void can be difficult beyond belief, so who can really blame Julie for turning down offers? We follow her as she begins to come out of her shell and come into herself once more. She ends up dating the perfect guy, or is he? Richard spoils Julie, but something weird is going on, and Singer knows what's up. And he isn't the only one. Mike, Julie's late husbands best friend can sense something as well. And after having feelings for Julie for a while and because of his loyalty to his late best friend, he can't let anything happen to Julie.

This story of love, passion, and suspense leeaves me on the edge of my seat everytime I read it, which I have lost count of. The story never gets old. The characters are so real, and you really feel like you're in the action. By the end of the book, I felt like I knew exactly what Julie was feeling: all of the love, suspense, pain, and happiness. Sparks did quite an amazing job with this one, and I would recommend this to anyone in a heartbeat. It is most definitely re-readable and absolutely worthwhile. If you ever get the chance, I really do suggest that you read this wonderful story. It will most definitely touch your heart.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Theme Week!!

Ok, so, this week, I decided that I would do some themed reviews. My theme is........Nicholas Sparks! I thought that since I'm reading The Lucky One, I should do something fun leading up to my review for it. So, every day for the next week I will be posting a review for a diferent one of his books. My first review will be up tomorrow! The order of reviews will be as follows:

The Guardian
The Rescue
At First Sight
The Notebook
The Wedding
Dear John
and......
THE LUCKY ONE!!!


Ok, so this is really late. I totally didn't mean to do this haha. Anyways, In My Mailbox is brought to us by The Story Siren.


So, this week I got two books. One I've been dying to get and one that I got as a promo.

Sea Change by Aimee Friedman

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Summary:

16-year-old Miranda Merchant is great at science...and not so great with boys. After major drama with her boyfriend and (now ex) best friend, she's happy to spend the summer on small, mysterious Selkie Island, helping her mother sort out her late grandmother's estate.

There, Miranda finds new friends and an island with a mysterious, mystical history, presenting her with facts her logical, scientific mind can't make sense of. She also meets Leo, who challenges everything she thought she knew about boys, friendship...and reality.

Is Leo hiding something? Or is he something that she never could have imagined?


My Thoughts:
I've been waiting for this book to come out and I'm so excited that I was able to get it once it did. I love selkie stories and this one just sounds awesome. I can't wait to see what unfolds between Miranda and Leo!! I've heard so many great things about this book. I'll have the review up soon!!


Crime Scene at Cardwell Ranch by B.J. Daniels

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Summary:

After Hudson Savage betrayed her, Dana Cardwell hoped never to lay eyes on the seductive cowboy again. Until a bunch of old bones showed up on her family ranch. Suddenly her former lover was back in her life in a big way-to investigate a decades-old crime.

Five years ago, Hud left town with a heart load of regrets. But now, as acting interim marshal, he had a job to do. And this time he wasn't walking away. Because now Dana's life was on the line-as the unsuspecting target of a killer who still walked the canyon. Hud would do whatever it took to keep Dana close. Even if it meant risking his own heart for a second chance for both of them....


My Thoughts:
So, this actually sounds pretty interesting. I got this one as a promo for Harlequin's 60th anniversary. I don't really know anything about this novel, other than the summary and I'm looking forward to seeing how it turns out!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

This is just a week of firsts for memes for me! :) Waiting on Wednesday is brought to us by Breaking the Spine.


My Waiting on Wednesday is:

Immortal by Gillian Shields

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Release date: 8/4/09

Summary:
Wydcliffe Abbey School for Young Ladies, housed in a Gothic mansion on the bleak northern moors, is elite, expensive, and unwelcoming. When Evie Johnson is torn away from her home by the sea to become the newest scholarship student, she is more isolated than she could have dreamed. Strict teachers, snobbish students, and the oppressive atmosphere of Wyldcliffe leave Evie drowning in loneliness.

Evie's only lifeline is Sebastian, a rebellious, mocking, dangerously attractive young man she meets by chance. As Evie's feelings for Sebastian grow with each secret meeting, she starts to fear that he is hiding something about his past. And she is haunted by glimpses of a strange, ghostly girl--a girl who is so eerily like Evie, she could be a sister. Evie is slowly drawn into a tangled web of past and present that she cannot control. And as the extraordinary, elemental forces of Wyldcliffe rise up like the mighty sea, Evie is faced with an astounding truth about Sebastian, and her own incredible fate.

Gillian Shields's electrifying tale will dazzle readers with suspense, mysticism, and romance.

Summary is from the product description listed on amazon.

My Thoughts:
This book just sounds so interesting! I can't wait until it comes out. Evie's life sounds so exciting, in both good ways and bad. And this secret affair with Sebastian is so intriguing!! This book sounds like it will be full of surprises and unexpected twists. I can't wait to read it!!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


This is my first Teaser Tuesday!! It looks pretty fun. Teaser Tuesday is brought to us by Should Be Reading. This teaser is from Nicholas Sparks' The Lucky One. Hopefully I don't include any spoilers!!


"He barely heard them. Instead, all he could think was that he now had a name to go with the face, and that the next step was to meet her." (pg. 65)

Rules:
1) Grab your current read.
2) Open to a random page.
3) Share two (2) "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page.
4) BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCULDE SPOILERS!! (make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away! You don't want to ruin the book for others!)
5) Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

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