Saturday, November 5, 2011

Romance, Young Adult, And Historical Photos

Did I make you wonder a bit with that title?

Well, it’s all about reviews and of course, they’re all different genres. First up is romance with HEARTBREAKER by Diana Palmer. Second is a YA fiction, I’M NOT HER by Janet Gurtler. Last is a coffee table-style book featuring beautiful photos of American history in THE WHITE HOUSE by Vicki Goldberg.

HEARTBREAKER by Diana Palmer

Tellie Maddox had always been strong, independent, and a fighter. She lost the last of her family at age 14 and was taken in by J.B. Hammock. J.B. sent her to live with his sister, Marg, and her 2 girls.

Tellie idolized J.B., following him everyway, and taking care of him when no one else could. As she got older, those feelings changed to love but Tellie knew she would never matter to J.B. He changed girlfriends as often as the pages on the calendar changed.

J.B. vowed to never marry and never cared much for the women he dated. He treated them well, but made it clear there was no future. He carried a dark secret that ate at him, causing his heart to harden.

The summer of her college graduation, Tellie came home to work before returning to advance her degree. At 21 Tellie had focused more on studies than a personal life.
Through a series of events, Tellie was crushed by J.B.’s lack of concern. The final straw came when she went to tell J.B. that Marg was in the hospital. Fleeing from the house, Tellie crashed her car and lost her memory. As she struggles to remember, J.B. works hard to redeem himself in her eyes.

HEARTBREAKER is a delightful, witty romance filled with bits of suspense. The journey Tellie and J.B. take is filled with bumps and turns but smoothes out for a pleasant ending and well worth the ride.

Phil Gigante does a fantastic job narrating the story. His dialect makes each character unique in their own way. His rich, sexy voice is perfect for the story’s cowboys. He gives a good example of why J.B. is a ladies’ man with his deep, husky interruption. Gigante brings the characters to life sharing the story’s emotions through his vocalization.

Author Diana Palmer brings the elements of romance and modern-day cowboys together for a pulse-pounding story. HEARTBREAKER is a good book to listen to (or read) during the cool nights of autumn.

Author Diana Palmer’s webiste is

Heartbreaker by Diana Palmer, Read by Phil Gigante, Brilliance Audio, @2011, ISBN: 978-1441883797, Unabridged, 5 Discs, Listening Time: 5 Hours 32 Minutes

FTC Full Disclosure - This audio book was sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.

I’M NOT HER by Janet Gurtler

image003High school can be a turbulent time and when you’re the younger sibling of a popular student, it can be even harder.

Tess Smith has always been in the shadows while her older sister, Kristina, took the spotlight. Kristina is pretty, athletic, outgoing and extremely popular at school. Tess is the exact opposite and has few friends.

Things take a drastic turn when Kristina is diagnosed with bone cancer in her knee. The family doesn’t want anyone to know. When Kristina becomes absent from school, Tess finds herself the center of attention as everyone is trying to find out about her sister.

While adjusting to the change at school, Tess also has to cope with changes in her family. She appears to be the only one handling the situation so she has to be strong enough to hold everyone together. Then a tragic event bears heavy on her, her sister and a number of their friends.

I’M NOT HER is a heart-warming story of coming of age, courage, examining the bonds of sisterhood and friendship, and one’s own personal growth. Written for young adults, it’s also a good reminder for adults as to the many problems youth face.

Author Janet Gurtler has created wonderful characters that embody typical teens, as well as the emotions they encounter when facing very grown up problems. She gives the characters very realistic actions that will make you laugh and cry throughout the story. The story flows smoothly and you will easily be absorbed into the story in minutes.

I’M NOT HER is a good read for all ages.

Author Janet Gurtler’s website is

I’m Not Her by Janet Gurtler, Sourcebooks Fire, @2011, ISBN: 978-1402256363, Paperback, 304 Pages 

FTC Full Disclosure - This book was sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.

THE WHITE HOUSE by Vicki Goldberg

tumblr_llcxcc1R3G1qbl75hThe structure at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington D.C. not only houses bits of our American history, but is itself a part of history.

Photography critic Vicki Goldberg, in cooperation with the White House Historical Association, has compiled some of the structure’s history in the beautiful format of THE WHITE HOUSE: THE PRESIDENT’S HOME IN PHOTOGRAPHS AND HISTORY.

This coffee table-style book contains more than 250 photos, both color and black and white, depicting the White House and its occupations. In addition, there is background information on each photo. Some information is brief, while other is quite informative.
The book is broken down into chapters. These chapters include: The East Rome; Weddings and Funerals; President’s Portraits; President’s Families; Cameras at the White House; White House News, Media and Image; The White House and Technology; Animals at the White House; and The People’s House.

The beginning of the book also features a list of all the presidents, the dates they served, and the names of their first ladies. Former White House Press Secretary Mike McCurry provides the foreword for this delightful book.

The featured photos show a wide range of topics from important meetings of world leaders to First Lady Grace Coolidge’s pet raccoon, from John Travolta and Princess Diana dancing at a gala to President John Kennedy’s casket, from First Lady Betty Ford dancing on the Cabinet Room table to cowboy Monty Montana lassoing President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

THE WHITE HOUSE is filled with a wealth of information about America’s presidents and their temporary residence. This would be a great book for students to learn by, as well as a lovely addition to anyone’s library collection.

Author Vicki Goldberg’s website is

The White House: The President’s Home In Photographs And History by Vicki Goldberg, Little, Brown and Company, @2011, ISBN: 9780316091305, Hardcover, 240 Pages 

FTC Full Disclosure - This book was sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.

As always, thanks so much for stopping by. Hope I shared something today that caught your eye.


  1. Mason - What an interesting and varied group of reviews you've got today! I love it! I've heard lots of good things about I'm Not Her, so although I don't usually delve much into YA, I may try that one. And The White House... sounds like one of those books you can dip into here and there; I like the combination of photos and history, too. You make an interesting point about Heartbreaker. The quality of a book's narration can make such a huge difference!

  2. This is a great cluster of book choices. The one about the two sisters that were opposites reminds me of a couple of sisters I knew. One had tons of friends and was extroverted the other one so opposite. The older sister included the younger in her group of friends which helped her. The younger is a teacher today--so it all turned out well.

  3. Great reviews. All sound like books I'd enjoy.

    Happy Weekend!


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